From personal growth to community impact, Okot Daniel from Bweyale has lead his peers and opened businesses that are not only impacting his financial future, but supporting others as well.
Okot is a peer leader from Nyakadot Youth Led youth group in Kiryandongo District. Before the trainings, Okot ran a small barbershop business in the outskirts of Bweyale town council. He said his daily life was difficult and his income was too low to support his family. His barbershop business was struggling, but he had no time for other jobs to supplement his income.
When the YETA project began, Okot joined the Nyakadot youth-led group since it was near his barbershop. After attending foundational skills training, his self-esteem visibly improved and his peers elected him to be a youth association (YA) peer leader. He then started facilitating training sessions where his public speaking talent came to light. Okot who originally described himself as shy and timid, demonstrated good public speaking and training skills and became a respected leader on youth issues in the community. Because of this reputation, he was elected to the village youth leader position in 2016.
Okot not only had a positive impact on the community, but he started to pursue goals for himself he originally thought were out of reach. At the youth association level, Okot joined a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) and started saving for the first time and thinking about budgeting, which he had not done before. He realized some of his social choices were keeping him from reaching his savings goal. To invest in earning more income, Okot set a goal to buy a boda boda or motorcycle taxi. After one year of saving, he accumulated UGX 1,500,000 ($428) which he used to buy the motorcycle and is currently paying the balance in small monthly installments.
The 26 year-old father of one has also ventured in to brick making and brokerage services. Learning about family planning through the foundational skills training, he encouraged his wife to learn more and make family planning decisions for financial management together. He hopes to accumulate more capital and embark on produce buying and selling; a business he already has experience in through practical applications with the youth association. From personally, to his family, to impact on the community, Okot’s transformation as a determined leader is supporting many more than he ever imagined.