A San Diego man killed Sunday in an explosion that ripped through a rugby field in Uganda, where hundreds of people had gathered to watch the final World Cup match, had worked for a local aid group for a year and a half, according to the organization.
Nate “Oteka” Henn worked for San Diego-based Invisible Children, a nonprofit group that is working to end conflict in Uganda and stop the abduction of children for use as child soldiers.
“Nate’s life ended while living out this dream, a selfless dream of putting others first, seeking peace and living a life of integrity,” the group said in a statement posted on its Web site. “He will be forever missed, forever remembered, and his legacy will live on in our love and deeds.”
According to Invisible Children, Henn earned the nickname “Oteka,” which means “The Strong One” in Acholi, by some of the Ugandan students he was working to help.
Some of those Ugandan students were with him at the time of the attack.
“Nate was not a glory-seeker and never sought the spotlight,” the group’s statement said. “He asked not to be made a hero of. But the life he lived inspires reflection and imitation.”
According to Invisible Children, Henn traveled the U.S. without pay to advocate for the freedom of abducted child soldiers and raised thousands of dollars to put Ugandan students in school.
It wasn’t clear how long Henn had been in Africa.
At least six dozen people were reportedly killed in three bombings Sunday night local time at two sites in Uganda’s capitol, Kampala, where spectators were gathered outdoors to watch screenings of the final World Cup soccer match.
Al-Shabaab, a militant Islamic group from Somalia, has claimed responsibility for the attack, which was apparently motivated by Uganda’s decision to contribute troops to the African Union to help in its efforts to stabilize Somalia.