Emma Thompson is a British actress, screenwriter, activist and two-time Oscar winner. She is known for her role in Harry Potter films as Sybill Trelawney and stars in the movie Nanny McPhee. What you may not know is that she has also adopted internationally. Emma and her husband, Greg Wise, adopted a sixteen year-old orphan from Rwandan. This 16-year-old boy is named Tindyebwa Agaba, or “Tindy”. At twelve years old he was taken by militia men to become a child solider for their army. Tindy along with other kidnapped boys and girls marched for days until they arrived at a camp that he would come to spend three years in before finally escaping.
“We walked for a good four days, across the border to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The second day was the last time I saw my sisters. I’ve never had a chance to get to know exactly what happened to them. I imagine that they were taken by militias or maybe they became bush wives or … I always want to think positively.” -Tindyebwa Agaba
After his escape he flew to London for protection at a haven, but soon after became homeless. Tindy went to a refugee council event where he met Emma Thompson. At the time he did not know who she was only that she was a stranger inviting him to her home. Tindy admitted to feeling paranoid and nervous about the situation, but as time went on Emma kept inviting him back to her home. One day in college, he was in English class when his teacher played the movie Henry V (Emma Thompson played a role in this film). He saw the strange woman he’d come to know on the screen! At that point he was even calling her “mum” when he found out who she really was. He even asked his teacher how the woman got into the TV because he was unaware how movies worked!
Tindy is now thirty-one years old. In 2016 he graduated with a degree in politics and a master’s degree in human rights. It is amazing what pure kindness and a desire to help can do for a child in need. If it wasn’t for Emma’s kind heart to take in Tindy, he may have still be on the streets.
“Sometimes, I think if it hadn’t been for Agaba (Tindy), my life would have been immeasurably less.” -Emma Thompson
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