Message from Ojok Okello
Greetings from Okere City!
We started this project in 2019 and significant progress has already been made. Okere City’s core objective in its foundational stage was to establish relationships, identify and tap various opportunities whilst working closely with the different layers of our community stakeholders.
I am strongly convinced that this can be sustainably done by deploying creative thinking and bold innovative approaches at every step. In fact, it is our firm belief and conviction in this idea that has enabled us to register key milestones.
So far, we have interacted, cheered up, learned and created authentic relationships in addition to implementing tangible and impactful community development projects ranging from early childhood development promotion; ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water; bringing basic grocery goods and services closer to the people; environmental conservation through community forestry projects and campaigns against cutting down of natural trees; among others.
I am always inspired by the stories of hope, resilience and determination for a better life imbued in the spirits of Okere community members. It is such stories and experiences that keep me motivated to continue working to make this crazy idea continue in order to have a lasting impact in the lives of rural people.
I must confess that bringing the Okere City idea to life is perhaps my greatest life's achievement - a feat I am deeply proud of. Matter-of-factly, I am investing my time, money and every effort in the Okere City idea for a ‘selfish reason’. I call it a ‘selfish reason’ because Okere is my village and I truly want to create authentic opportunities for my brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews, aunties and uncles – in short my clan and kin.
Somehow, if I do not use my knowledge, skills and other material and/or financial resources I have been blessed with, I would be postponing dependency burden and other associated challenges of absolute poverty to the future and to the next generation. If I can do something to create a better future for my relatives and rural associates, it is through Okere City.
But also, I am blessed to have gotten the best education in development studies both from Makerere University and the London School of Economics and Political Science. If I cannot use my knowledge and skills to better the livelihoods of the people in the village, how would I get the moral and technical authority to influence development work anywhere else? This question gets me to work every day while emboldening my vision to bear the idea and make it work by hook or crook.
My excitement that the Okere City idea has seen light and come to life cannot be measured and I look forward to supporting it in any way to make it be a living proof of concept that works and can be replicated everywhere across the world. I hope you do support it too.