10 Stories of Inspiring and Talented Youth Making a Difference with their Unique Skill Set
World Youth Skills Day is a special day to advocate for skills as an important factor to improve young people’s transitions to decent work and to highlight the crucial role of skilled youth in addressing today’s most challenging global issues.
The United Nations, at its General Assembly in November 2014, declared 15th of every July as World Youth Skills Day. Hire the Youth is proud to be part of global recognition and promotion of skills. We believe skills do change the lives of many young people today. And that is why, for this year’s celebrations, we decided to profile stories of some inspiring and talented youth making a difference with their unique skill sets.
Check out the full list below;
Sekitto Emma Kalule (Faces Up)
Sekitto Emma Kalule is the founder and team leader of Faces Up, a youth-led organization that is linking young people with role models for inspiration and support in a bid to enable them to achieve their goals and dreams.
Having majored in Industrial and Fine Art at Makerere University, Sekitto uses his skill to create art campaigns thus being a voice to the voiceless in different communities.
Sekitto believes that very many young people in Uganda are talented however, they lack guidance from the people they look up to and that is why he created Faces Up, to bridge the gap between young people and the successful people they look up to.
Esther Kalenzi (40 Days Over 40 Smiles)
Esther Kalenzi is the founder of ‘40 Days over 40 Smiles’ (40-40), a youth-led organization which has raised over USD 150,000 to give 2,000 vulnerable children access to education through career guidance, counseling, and study sessions.
Helping the needy is a passion she first exhibited as a student at Aga Khan High School in Kampala when she raised funds from fellow students to pay tuition for a classmate who had missed school. She says she looked at the spending patterns of the students at the school and realized that they often had more than enough pocket money. But she had only raised Shs 100,000 when some students reported the matter to the school administrations and she was summoned. In the end, however, it turned out to well as the school administration offered the student a scholarship.
Upon graduation a few years later, she landed a job but quit after just one year to pursue her passion. In 2012 she started Forty Days over Forty Smiles.
Otim Gerald (Ensibuuko)
Otim Gerald is the co-founder of Ensibuuko, a Ugandan ICT startup that is modernizing the way financial cooperatives (popularly known as SACCOS – Savings and Credit Cooperatives) manage data and deliver financial services.
The platform, therefore, exists to equalize financial services in Uganda as is the case in many other African countries where banks are urban-based. People in rural communities will be served mainly by a cooperative institution.
With Banks crowded in urban places providing loans at about 24%, people have resorted to trusting SACCOS. However, most SACCOS use rudimentary methods of data keeping and financial management mired with inefficiency, human error, fraudulent tendencies which is why Ensibuuko was created.
As of today, Ensibuuko has registered over 200 SACCOS in rural areas with a potential to significantly disrupt the rural financial services sector not just in Uganda but across Africa.
Emmanuel Kateregga, Joshua Okello, Racheal Monica Achen Gitta Brian, Jingo Kisakye and Nurah Shariff Nantume (SafePal)
Very many young people are a victim of different sorts of violence especially sexual violence in Uganda where many have been raped, defiled, and tortured by not only family members but also other people. Today, 3 in 4 young people suffer from sexual violence in Uganda, alone.
SafePal is a digital innovation that was created by Emmanuel Kateregga, Joshua Okello, Racheal Monica Achen Gitta Brian, Jingo Kisakye, and Nurah Shariff Nantume. This innovation enables young people to anonymously report cases of sexual violence.
SafePal has a mobile and web portal and works as a reporting and referral platform for young survivors of sexual violence. The app contains a database of health centers and other service providers able to provide immediate medical aid for victims of sexual violence, as well as psychosocial and legal support through a range of civil society organizations (CSOs).
Rebecca Kabejja (A Good Day in Africa)
Rebecca Kabejja is a lawyer by profession and host of A Good Day in Africa. She is determined on sharing the African story that has been dismissed and called “Unafrican.” She uses her works to change the negative African narrative and demands for the true story be told in all environments.
She advocates for rights (civil and human), peace and security and tax justice. She also worked as a communication and advocacy officer with Reach a Hand Uganda.
Rebecca’s aspiration is to practice International tax so that she can contribute to a specialized tax consultancy base in Uganda and Africa and also create effective avenues of using tax as a tool for promoting equality, equity, and justice in Uganda.
Brian Gitta (Matibabu)
Scholars always attribute a healthy population to economic stability and growth however, we should not forget that 5 in 7 young people fear or hate the needle. Brian Gitta, through his company thinkIT, has created an app, Matibabu that can be used to test for Malaria with smartphones used for diagnosis without the use of a needle.
Brian’s fear for the needle encouraged him to create a solution that enables you to test for Malaria without being pricked. With Matibabu, a user simply inserts a finger into the clipper device and then plugs the device into a smartphone. They select “start diagnosis” on the phone, and wait for the diagnosis, which takes about a minute.
The solution addresses malaria disease management by offering a cost-effective early diagnosis of the illness, reducing the amount of medication, the duration of treatment and the number of people suffering severe effects of malaria infection, without the need for a needle or trained personnel.
Alice Dora Nankinga (RIP) – Alice Dora Foundation
Alice Dora Foundation is a non-profit organisation that was built on the legacy left behind by the original pioneer (Alice Dora Nankinga 1992-2018) who had a dream to provide education opportunities to children who are in need, better family well-being at large, provide basic needs for the elderly, empower the young to exploit their skills while putting a smile on their faces.
Still running, the organization has been able to support people in rural areas by easing access to basic needs.
Emmy Omongin (Campus Bee)
Emmy Omongin is a young entrepreneurial soul that has garnered his skills to help curb youth unemployment and also to give young people in school/university a chance to make some money by wielding their writing skills and talent.
Emmy is the CEO, and founder of Campus Bee, the oldest and biggest campus website in Uganda. He is also the Founder of Hive Digital Limited a creative hub that brings together young creatives in the field of advertising, designing, and programming to develop high-end campaigns and products.
Joseph Ddiba (Ba Nga Afayo)
Joseph Ddiba is the Founder and Team Leader at Ba Nga Afayo (Act like you care) Initiative Uganda, a youth-led charity organization providing critical assistance to former street children, orphans and families struggling in terrible poverty in Uganda.
For about 4 years, the initiative has been able to place over 50 children into school who would otherwise be without a family or education. “I have not only witnessed the lives of children being transformed through sponsorship but have furthermore become convinced that Uganda can be restored through education of these less fortunate children.
Patel Harikrushna (Abaana Abaidho)
Patel, an Indian born and raised in Uganda has over the years realized that poverty is in every corner of the world. Owner of Tengi Styles and also the founder of Abaana Abaidho Organisation, he is using his skill of creating and making African print clothes to support the unemployed women and girls in the East.
The organization provides tailoring skills to the girl child and needy women in the community and that’s where Tengi Styles come in.