Harriet Okumu is a gifted teacher and the author of Hope Restored, her personal memoir. She is also a board member for Restore Africa Network, a ministry that she and her husband pioneered to provide advocacy and empowerment opportunities for children and marginalized communities in Uganda.
Harriet was raised, along with her siblings, in an impoverished suburb of Kampala, Uganda. When she lost her father to suicide, her family’s story took a turn for the worse. With her mom now trying to provide for seven children on her own, financial resources were stretched extremely thin. Eventually Harriet moved in with her aunt in Mulago, where she was sponsored into the local Compassion International child development program. This became her lifeline.
Through her sponsorship and subsequent acceptance into Compassion’s leadership development program, Harriet became the first in her family to graduate college, earning her bachelor’s degree in education from Makerere University Kampala. She firmly believes she is the strong, resilient woman she is today because of the grace of God and the impact Compassion had in her life.
A passionate and compelling teacher, Harriet thrives in speaking to youth groups, college students, and church congregations about the hope found only in Christ and the transformative work God is doing through Compassion. She lives in Chicago, Illinois, with her husband Tadeo and their three children, Jezreel, Jael, and Joy.