Solomon Kayiwa is a pioneer Mentor for Educate!; this post is a reflection on two of his scholars.
Phionah Ntegeka is an Educate! Scholar at Duhaga S.S, which is a 10-minute ride from Hoima town in western Uganda. She is the treasurer of her social entrepreneursip group and the kind of person you can always count on. She is an inquisitive student, curious to learn more about problems and willing to talk in terms of solutions. In large part, the inspiration and support comes from her mentor, Solomon Kayiwa.
This zeal to learn more and to experiment is yielding visible results. Phionah, a passionate changemaker, loves people; they are her life. In fact, whenever Solomon is in school, Phionah always has something to say to him before he leaves. “Youth Girls Effort” defines her vision of promoting girls’ education. She began this community initiative with four other girls, young women who are either fighting to get an education or who have dropped out.
Phionah empowers her project members with basic life skills, social entrepreneurship competence, and a message of hope through leadership. She prepares members to be better, so her name Ntegeka—which means “one who prepares”—fits her well. “Youth Girls Effort” hopes to empower other friends, female groups, and parents as time goes on. They started a piggery business initiative with six pigs to act as a model for community youth, to create a form for sustainability, and to raise money with hope of accessing education one day.
Phionah dreams of becoming an icon for women’s education and plans to study Social Work at college. She believes that she should not just live in the world, but with the world: observing, feeling, and responding to it and working for a better planet.
Richard Wobusobozi is an Educate! Scholar at Sir Tito Winyi S.S, located approximately 40 minutes away from Hoima. Richard lost his father at a young age and as the firstborn, he was left to fend for his family. He looked after his sick mother and four siblings in primary school, but because of the Educate! experience, he never lost hope.
Richard is a dedicated, diligent, and enthusiastic student; these qualities helped him to become vice president of the community initiatives program sponsored by Educate! As vice president, he leads others by example through knowledge acquired from the leadership course. Additionally, Richard started two projects back home: goat rearing and Irish potato growing.
Despite the hardships he faced, Richard has been able to earn an income and take care of his family through the two projects back home. He can afford medicines for his mother, school fees for his siblings and himself, and other day-to-day expenditures. In addition, Richard transferred business and community skills to his siblings and other youth in the community who have also started projects to enrich their lives. His goal is to see all idle youth in the community acquire social entrepreneurship skills and start social enterprises.
Today Richard is very proud of the Educate! Experience.