WHAT DO YOU GET WHEN YOU PUT TOGETHER ….
- the vision and drive of a sacrificial and entrepreneurial builder,
- desperate young people who have dropped out of education and
- support from the local community and others?
YOU GET …. Nyero Alternative Technology Training Centre!
WHO: James Ikara is a renowned and highly skilled mason from Nyero with 30 years of building experience in Teso (a region in north eastern Uganda) and elsewhere in Uganda. James knows what it is like to struggle as a young orphan. After his father was killed in the insurgency many years ago, he was left with the responsibility, as the eldest son of a large family, of caring for his mother and younger siblings as well as his own wife and children. He is passionate about helping young people who have lost all hope to build a future where they can be self-sufficient and independent. He has never held on to what he has gained for himself, but has sacrificed his time and prospects, skills and resources to fulfil his vision of helping others in need.
WHY: There are many youth in Kumi and Ngora Districts, as well as elsewhere in Teso, who are drifting through life, helpless and hopeless, with no sense of worth or general life skills. This is usually because of extreme poverty and circumstances outside their control, such as being orphaned, being born HIV positive, dropping out of school because of no money for fees, having no role models, or being forced into early marriages. It is not because they are lazy or have never had any ambitions. It is because they have had no opportunities and no money to pay for school fees.
HOW: Although James was able to help a few youth by training them at home and alongside him whenever possible, he couldn’t achieve his vision of helping hundreds of needy young people without the support of the local community – parents, local government and church leaders, teachers who have come to teach in their spare time, often for no pay, and young people who were willing to learn ‘on the job’ as they helped build the school. A few friends in the UK, including Canon Margaret Stevens who has known James since 1992, have also given some basic equipment and funds, as well as St Peter’s Gildersome (Leeds), Berkley Street Methodist Church in St Neot’s and TWAM (Tools With a Mission).
To read more about what makes this Centre so different and special, please click HERE.