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Updated: Jan 13

The year 2023 marked another remarkable chapter for us. We ventured into innovative creative arts projects, notably the theatrical production of 'Echoes of Lawino.' Our community members took center stage at the Uganda National Theatre, presenting a captivating showcase of songs, dances, and rhymes in defense of Lawino, the fictional African woman immortalized in Okot pBitek's masterpiece, 'Song of Lawino.'

The impact of our social impact projects heightened, with the school, health, and tailoring centers collectively serving more than twice the number of community members compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, our social business initiatives reported significant growth. The profits of Okere Shea Butter Coop doubled in 2023, surpassing the figures from 2022. Our local restaurant and grocery store experienced increased customer traffic, and we welcomed 300 more visitors to Okere compared to the previous year.

In August 2023, I undertook a prestigious Fulbright Humphrey Fellowship at Cornell University. In the United States, I seized the opportunity to share about our work with approximately 700 students and faculty from Dyson School and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Additionally, I engaged in face-to-face meetings with our American partners, an experience that transcended the limitations of virtual communication. Among the highlights was our collaborative effort to launch Okere Shea Butter on Amazon, aiming to boost sales and channel the proceeds directly into increasing dividends for our cooperators in Okere, thereby enhancing their household incomes.

I am particularly delighted that my first long-term absence in Okere didn’t significantly affect our day-to-day operations. This has given me hope and inspiration to continue building a firm foundation for a more solid and sustainable organization. The on-the-ground staff are to be thanked for all the sacrifices. Let us continue to serve our local community with love. 

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all our community members, partners, and Friends of Okere for contributing to the success of 2023.

Ojok Okello, Founder and CEO


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