Photo by Mathius Twinomujuni: Danish parliamentarians delegation visiting the Nkumbi Terimba Hub in Kamwokya.
Bogere Mohammed, also known as Siconto, is a young man who lives in Kisenyi II zone, Kamwokya II ward. Bogere grew up in Mayuge district in a village called Wadago. As a young person, he used to come to Kampala where his father resided occasionally. When he lost his father in 2006 as a teenager, life took a drastic turn for the worst. “My life changed completely it became very hard to the extent that no one could afford to pay school fees for me, so I dropped out of school due to financial constraints.”
Photo by Twinomujuni Mathius: Nkumbi Terimba Hub where the young people do glass cutting, and urban farming.
Being the eldest at the time, his only option was to stay with his stepmother in Wadago where he used to care for his siblings. When life became harder Bogere contacted his mother who had moved to Kampala in search of economic opportunities. After a while, his mother failed to sustain his education and Bogere dropped out of school in senior 2.
“I realized that I had to find means of surviving as mum could only afford the basics, I was out of school and I had a lot of time so I started collecting scrap in the community to earn a living and also support my mother and my four siblings in Jinja.”
After a while, Bogere left home and started his own life joining other peers in Kisenyi II Kamwokya II. The daily struggles were never easy and sometimes Bogere and his friends would survive on a single meal.
When ACTogether rolled out the Safe and inclusive cities project I, a number of interventions to combat drugs and substance abuse were conducted in Kamwokya, Bogere had a chance to participate in some of these awareness campaigns against drugs. This motivated him to continue participating in mindset change sessions. After some time, Bogere came up with an idea of climate change of recycling glass empty bottles and shaping them to form glass cups for juice and flower vessels, the intervention was supported under the business incubation initiative and has since taken off as a business enterprise that enables him to earn a decent income.
Photo by Twinomujuni Mathius: Bogere at his urban farm in Kamwokya.
Recently, Bogere has undergone a safety tool kit training that has empowered him to influence and advocate for a safer community. He has made it his life’s mission to spread awareness of drugs and substance abuse, especially among his peers
“I was trained as a safety champion which helps me to inspire my fellow youth that are still stuck in the ghetto, who had lost hope and whose only way to their survival is stealing gadgets like phones and ladies’ handbags along the northern bypass.”
Some of the young people reached by Bogere have joined his group called NKUMBI TERIMBA INITIATIVE where they practice urban farming and small-scale recycling of glass.
“Through the safe inclusive cities project, I have gained a connection to exhibitions and customers buy my products, I got connections and partnerships from other companies to which a deliver my work samples like JIBU company along Kajokya street and Bico restaurant where I supply the mushrooms. I have also trained my team members in my group and from the community at large.”
Photo by Francis Mawejje: Bogere tending to the mash room project under the Nkumbi Terimba initiative.
Bogere requests more support to get partnerships from other NGOs or CBOs who can support him buy his products and also connect him to different exhibitions to display his products hence getting income.
“I thank ACTogether, Plan – International and Slum Dwellers Federation through the SAFE AND INCLUSIVE CITIES project for supporting the ghetto youth I am a living testimony in my community and I continue inspiring fellow youth in the Ghetto who are still stuck and will continue serving them and training them my skills. I am overwhelmed with joy. OKWEGATTA GEMAANYI”