Christopher Ategeka lost both parents to AIDS by the age of seven. He went on to raise his four younger siblings in Uganda, before generous donations brought him to California, where he graduated from UC Berkeley and gave his engineering department’s commencement speech. Today, he runs two nonprofits, one that provides bikes to rural Ugandans. Ategeka joins us as part of our “First Person” series on the people who make the Bay Area unique.

Christopher Ategeka at TEDxSacramento

Christopher Ategeka, founder and CEO of CA Bikes

  • Skip Conrad

    Is HIV/AIDS different in Africa than it is in the USA?

    • jurgispilis

      Iverson kind of blew off that AIDS – Selenium question. That was odd.

    • Christopher Ategeka

      HIV Virus is the same everywhere; it affects every victim the same way; the only difference between HIV patients in USA and Africa is access to medication. One thing thats very clear about STD’s is that they are all manageable and most of them–curable including HIV. All one has to do is take a pill everyday and they too can live to be 100.

      • Skip Conrad

        Or one can take no pill everyday and they too can live to be 100.

        Is the testing of HIV/AIDS different? I understand there are different methods, and different models.

  • jurgispilis

    Did he get a visa through adoption? Did he gain American Citizenship through adoption?

  • James Ivey

    I have no idea whether this is useful for Mr. Ategeka’s cause, but an organization in Israel claims to be able to make bicycles from cardboard for $9 each. Here’s a link to a news story about it:

  • Dewey Watson

    Chris: When are you going to publish that book? Dewey

    • Christopher Ategeka

      Some day Dewey someday! As you know it cost $$ and time to publish a book 🙂 In order to get something reasonable out their; I am gonna need help from a publishing company or Individual.
      Fingers crossed something will come through someday

  • George Bell

    Chris: An alternative to adoption of poor orphans, you might consider encouraging donors/charities to financially support a specific child. Another organization ( does similar things in the Philippines. George

    • Brittany

      George, that is a very easy statement to make for someone born in the west. Tell OVC (orphans and other vulnerable children) in a country like Uganda not to be adopted. Many institutionalized kids in Uganda have families, who for whatever reason do not want them. This reason is often HIV/AIDS or other disabilities. The ARV’s in the US are so much better than in the third world it is absurd. Youth Encouragement Serviced (YES), the program Chris went through, does have many people sponsor children to go to school. That is how Chris was connected with his family. The education and medical care are so much better in the US than in Uganda. Chris would not be getting his PhD at a school like UC Berkeley if he wasn’t adopted to the US.

  • 1PeterDuMont2STARALLIANCE8

    Thanks for sharing your remarkable story and for your wonderful work!

    • Christopher Ategeka

      Thank you for the kind note!

  • Peter Jackson

    David Iverson is so scared and cautious. What is this issue about selenium? Why not let the guest answer? He justified cutting off the caller by saying that it was an off topic question, and fielded the next question on adoption, which just as easily could have been considered off topic.

  • Christopher Ategeka

    Thank you KQED!!

  • Tom Johnson

    Hello Christopher: I was in Bundibugyo and Kampala last year for about two weeks. I have seen your story on the ground in Uganda. We are now working with the Zana Church in Kampala, and the Bundibugyo Community Worship Center to provide food and education and medical care for over 500 orphan and vulnerable children. We have formed the Uganda Coalition of Northern California Churches, and now have six churches assisting with our efforts. I would love to hear more about your bicycle efforts. As you know Bundibugyo is in the middle of nowhere on the Congo Border, is just dirt roads and jungle, and has been ravaged by AIDS, war, poverty and disease. I live in Napa, CA and would love to have you come and visit. Tom Johnson

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