Educate! Graduate Daniel Creates Impact in His Community
Educate! graduate Daniel Okurut was an Educate! Scholar in Hoima, Western Uganda. In secondary school, Daniel joined Educate! and served as President of the Student Business Club. Under his leadership, the Club started a business building and selling clay cooking stoves, which were safer and more efficient than the stoves typically used by members of the community.
After graduating from secondary school, Daniel worked hard to earn a diploma in medical technology. Leveraging both his medical education and his business skills gained through Educate!, Daniel opened a rural health clinic, with a dispensary and small blood analysis laboratory. He grew the clinic over time, and today services include family planning, medical consultations, vaccinations, diagnostics and treatments. The clinic receives 350 patients per month on average and employs 2 people.
Now, Daniel is focusing on growing his business. He says, “This clinic was my ‘back-home project’ [individual business projects which Scholars are coached to start through Educate!]. It took some time to achieve it, but I’m now quite satisfied and four weeks ago I opened an urban clinic which will have a little space for inpatient care too. The new clinic will serve four schools: if the children get sick, we will be their referral hospital.”
In addition to running the health clinic, Daniel serves as an Educate! Youth Leader (manager of Educate! Mentors), giving back to the next generation of youth in his community. “As Youth Leader and the Club’s advisor, I keep telling Mentors and students that it’s not just about money, but about having a business idea and planning carefully. Students often have fears, but fears mustn’t paralyze them. I tell them they need to start with an idea and build upon it, little by little. Think big, but start small! I help them brainstorm ideas. If they need to raise some funds, I help them design a strategy for that.”
Daniel’s driving motivation is giving back to his community:
“I want to help people around me. That is what inspires me and what has always been and still is at the back of my mind. I started with cooking stoves because I wanted to mitigate the health and respiratory problems that often result from smoke inhalation, but the clinics are the ultimate realization of my aspirations.”