Family desperate to bring back father who is stuck in Uganda

Son, 6, of British charity worker who is stranded in Uganda after coronavirus price hikes left him unable to afford the £1,000 ticket to return shares video asking for donations to ‘get his dad back home’

  • Exclusive:  Lee Stuart, 40, a charity worker from Manchester, is stuck in Uganda
  • His son Moses, 6, shared a touching video plea asking for help getting him home
  • Working on project when coronavirus hit and tickets went from £300 to £1,600 
  • His partner Sophie, 32, and son Idris, 3, are also desperate for him to return 

A little boy has recorded a touching video message plea asking for help in getting his father from Uganda back to Britain.

Lee Stuart, 40, a British charity worker from Manchester, was in the East African country helping with an educational children’s project when the coronavirus pandemic hit, causing tickets to rocket from £300 to as much as £1,600.

The father-of-two, who shares Moses, 6, and Idris, 3, with Sophie Mazuka, 32, a part time photographer, had originally planned to return on Sunday for his youngest son’s birthday.

However the rising prices meant he couldn’t afford the return fare and is stuck abroad, with Sophie telling FEMAIL that Moses’s ‘frequent crying’ had spurred him onto record the sweet message. 

The father-of-two, who shares Moses, 6, and Idris, 3, with Sophie Mazuka, 32, (seen) a part time photographer, had originally planned to return on Sunday for his youngest son’s birthday

The video posted on Go Fund Me sees Moses holding up a succession of hand-written notes, one of which reads: ‘My name is Moses, I am six years old and I miss my dad, he is in Uganda’. 

Explaining how they found themselves torn apart, Sophie said: ‘Lee first went to Uganda 12 years ago with me to visit family. 

‘He fell in love with the country and the people, which lead him down the path of starting Smart Toto, a social enterprise focused on early literacy development in communities.

‘She continued: ‘Lee’s working and establishing community libraries in Uganda with Ugandan charity worker Hasfa Mago a Ugandan.

Lee Stuart, 40, a British charity worker from Manchester, was in the East African coutnry helping with an educational children’s project when the coronavirus pandemic hit, causing tickets to rocket from £300 to as much as £1,600

‘Together they have sent up over seven community libraries, supplied over 2000 children with reading books, and educated over 200 parents on early literacy development.’

Explaining how they are now at a standstill, she continued: ‘He had planned on coming home early for Idris’ birthday in mid-March, that was the target. But since Covid 19 everything stood still. 

‘Initially the tickets were between £300 and £400, now they have gone up to £1600 plus due to restrictions on flights world wide as a result of the covid19 crisis. 

‘The family is worried about Lee being so far away in a developing country where the crisis has only just stated. At a time like this the boys really need their Dad for emotional support.’

However the rising prices meant he couldn’t afford the return fare and is stuck abroad, with Sophie telling FEMAIL that Moses’s (seen) ‘frequent crying’ had spurred him onto record the sweet message

Lee had originally planned to return on Sunday for his youngest son Idris (seen left with Moses) third birthday but had to miss it

Moses’ video message in full 

‘My name is Moses, I am six years old and I miss my dad, he is in Uganda

‘Please help my dad with any ticket donation so he can come home – I miss him so much.

‘I want him back here with me and my baby brother, he went there so he could help children get a better education.

‘Thank you, my Go Fund Me page is “Get Dad Home”.’

Speaking about how the boys are coping, Sophie revealed how they had decided to see if they could raise £1,000 for the ticket after witnessing her sons’ pain.

She said: ‘Moses has been crying a lot for his Dad which prompted the video and the Go Fund Me page. 

‘He wanted to help get his dad home so we thought that if we could raise the money between our friends and family then as soon as the next flight became available he would have a better chance to get back home safely to his family.’

She added: ‘Lee is keeping positive and isn’t losing belief that he will be able to return home very soon. It’s been a very stressful time.

‘We WhatsApp each other as much as possible but power cuts over there mean the boys get to speeak to their dad less then they would like to every day – hasn’t been easy. 

Moses (seen with Lee) has taken his father’s absence particularly hard and launched a desperate plea

Sophie admits that having the boys (seen) at home all the time makes things little harder as the kids love being outside and playing football -especially with their dad.

‘It was especially said that he missed Idris’ birthday on Sunday. As their mother I am staying strong because the boys need me, but it would mean everything to us if their dad was here so we could do this together.

‘The boys are strong and they have each other which helps alot, but being home all the time makes things little harder as the kids love being outside and playing football -especially with their dad.

‘However I keep telling myself it could be worse, so for that I’m grateful. I just want the boys back with their father’.

So far Sophie has raised £30 of the £1,000 needed to bring Lee back home to their boys.

So far Sophie has raised £30 of the £1,000 needed to bring Lee (pictured raising awareness about education) back home to their boys

 

 

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