To UCTF, education is not an end in itself. Our focus has always been on preparing young people to succeed in the modern economy. We started supporting our first three children in 2001. So it’s only now that we are beginning to see a decent number of members who have passed through the whole system - and that means that we can also begin to judge how they are performing in the world of work.
So far, we have had some brilliant results.
Quite apart from Henry Muyanja and Allan Senabulya, two UCTF alumni who have now spent three years working for the charity as Director of Operations and Finance/Admin Manager respectively, there are a number of younger members who are making impressive strides.
Monday Ssesanga graduated two years ago with a Bachelor of Commerce from Ndejje University. Since then he has been working at Jim Roberts, a certified public accounting firm. Having grown up in a village in the district of Luweero - site of the Bush War between Yoweri Museveni and Milton Obote - Monday is now a fully qualified professional auditor.
Flavia Wanyana, a more recent graduate in Information Technology from Amity University, is the first UCTF member to have found a job overseas. Because of her experience playing cricket for the UCTF Women’s team, she was recruited to become a Regional Development Officer for women’s cricket in Nigeria. She recently returned from Abuja for her graduation ceremony, but will be back there for the rest of the year.
There have been other great successes as well. As you can read on his profile, Ronald Asiimwe is working for a Christian outreach programme called FOCUS Uganda. Andrew Okello works for a large telecommunications company called Airtel. Anne Atim Hope has secured a job with Pride Microfinance.
And there are more waiting in the wings - UCTF members still studying at university have found internships with other impressive organisations. Charles Kavuma has worked in the procurement department of the Uganda Revenue Authority, Swaib Matovu completed a placement with the International Committee of the Red Cross in Mbale, Ben Okecho has worked at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and Joel Wambisha has been employed by a local school as a supply teacher in their science department (at the age of 19!).
Finally, one or two of our members have chosen more entrepreneurial routes. Martha Aweko spent four months working in a hotel in South Sudan to raise the capital to start her own shop. She sells household materials like curtains, bed sheets and mosquito nets. Because she is still a student at university, she employs someone to run the shop for her. But she is still able to pay for her food and accommodation with the extra income. Vincent Twesigye is doing a vocational course in graphic design, and has been able to use those skills to begin his own business printing custom-designed t-shirts. He has already had large orders from local boxing and cricket clubs, and his designs have proved extremely popular in the local area!
It is not only for the sake of our members that we are proud of these achievements. The scholarship programme has always aimed to help more than just its direct beneficiaries. By supplying the labour market with skilled and motivated workers, and by giving young people the capacity to become job-creators, UCTF can make a difference for everyone. And this is only the start.