By Najibu Mulema
Alex Okello is the founder of Talent Enabling Uganda, an non-governmental Organization that help young people discover their talents, train them to focus as well as helping them to translate these talents into business. And on 5th and 6th January 2018, the organization has set up a workshop dubbed ‘ARISE 2018’ at YES Centre in Nsambya with the same aim in mind.
Okello, an accountant by profession, is among a few Ugandans who have moved an extra mile to curb the unemployment problem affecting the youth in the country.
He decided to forego his well paying job to help the youth discover their talents which in the end will help them secure placements in the employment field.
Born in a humble family in 1980 to Mr. Emir Vicent (Prison Warder) and Ms. Anyango Clardinah (housewife) , Okello attended Murchison Bay Primary School in Luzira, Konyunga Primary School (PLE), then Ngora High School (O’ Level), Leadership Academy (A’Level) and from there he joined Makerere University where graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Business Computing (Accounts).
Okello lived his life experiencing how people especially the young generation worked so hard to make ends meet without discovering what they are capable of.
To him, if all the people could only discover their talent, the world would be a better place to live in because everyone would be concentrating and excelling big in the field he /she knows better.
“Talent is the only natural way in which God ensured that everyone can survive in this world.”
Having worked with several organizations as a certified Accountant, Okello found a need to re-awaken his dream of ‘Discovering young talents’ he had since 2008.
And in early 2016 he fully registered Talent Enabling Uganda thus making it a real formal organization.
Okello says Uganda has the youngest population in the world but the irony is 78 percent of the youth are unemployed.
“So I wanted to bridge the unemployment gap and the only way I could do it was to find that one thing that brings us together and that is ‘TALENT’.
“I started this NGO to help the young people discover their talents then in turn we train them and assist them to translate these talents into business.”
Okello reveals that with his team of eight people, they have managed to engage and train 3,410 young people in various schools, parishes and Universities.
They have also carried out three trainings of Trainers in Education for Life Sponsorship Youth Alive Uganda and they have also developed their own curriculum.
Like any other young and growing organization, Okello says many people are still ignorant about their services and this sometimes make their work difficult since every time they have to explain too much in order for people to buy their trust.
Another challenge, the organization is facing is lack of adequate finances to run their programs.
“Currently, we have no funders and this is a bit tiring since we have to foot all our bills by ourselves and remember many companies which do what we do are funded yet us who do it better lack that necessity.”
He says Talent Enabling Uganda is planning to become a well established organization with good structures, cooperate with big NGOs for better outcomes , increase on the number of the team members as well as setting up an academy seated on a 50 acre piece of land.
Advice to the youth
According to Okello, government will only provide infrastructure but not jobs so as a young person you have the mandate by not blaming any other person but use your talent to achieve your goals.
“No matter how much you try to perceive success; if you have not yet discovered your natural talent and apply it, you will not be as productive, successful and satisfied in life as your meant to be”.
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