MASAKA. At his workshop in Nyendo, a Masaka town suburb, Henry Ssekitoleko earns a living from his art pieces and glass mart.
A graduate with a bachelors in Art and Design with Education, Ssekitoleko is convinced he would not have reached this far, had it not been Kitovu Mobile’s helping hand as the orphan struggled to raise school fees.
Through the organization ‘s Orphans and Vulnerable Social Support Project, Ssekitoleko says he was able to realize his dreams which had been nearly shuttered after facing school fees challenges.
“I had reached Senior Six, a class which requires a lot of money and my mother could not readily raise it” he says
And having heard about Kitovu Mobile helping vulnerable children, he says he moved to apply for help ,which he successfully got .“I applied in 2009 ,but got support in 2013 after assessing my level of vulnerability, ”Ssekitoleko reminisces.
Then in Senior Six at St Anthony S.S – Kayunga , Ssekitoleko could get scholastic materials and half of his school fees.
This ,he says was great relief to her single mother and to him as well because he could study with little worries which saw him concentrate in class.
After Senior Six, he says Kitovu Mobile went on to support him at Muteesa 1 Royal University where he did bachelor’s in Art and Design with Education. “They[Kitovu Mobile] could pay for half of the tuition and then hustled with my mother to get the remaining balance” he says
He says because Kitovu Mobile could pay part of the school fees in time; he could base on that and negotiate with the administration to allow him study as he looked for the balance .
Ssekitoleko notes that the university’s policy never allowed any student to have lectures without paying half of the tuition. Thus, he greatly relied on Kitovu Mobile’s reimbursement as this was readily available at the commencement of each new semester.
“Then my mother would struggle to get the top up and this was needed before we sat for end of semester exams,” he says
Being a passionate Artist and designer, the 26 old motivated to practice what he was learning. He moved to look for a workshop in where he could get practical skills.
In this line, he says Ms Sharon Nambasa, the Kitovu Mobile’s OVC Project coordinator linked him to her friend who had a workshop in Nyendo, a Masaka Town suburb.
It was from there that Ssekitoleko, whose course was confined in art and design, ended up grabbing another skill: cutting and shaping glass mart.
It is at this same workshop where he secured a job after his graduation before teaching Art and Design at St. Bruno-Ssaza,Masaka .
Later, from his teaching proceeds, Ssekitoleko started his own workshop in Nyendo and blended designing with glass mart.
He continued with part time teaching and employed someone to stay at the workshop for the days he was at school.
However, he says he realized that he could not juggle the two , because despite recruiting an employee, some clients wanted to deal with him, as an individual .
“They could call me in the middle of the lesson, which could breed inefficiency at work,’
Consequently, he quit teaching and decided to concentrate on his business.
However, he says, he needed to continue diversifying his income ,which prompted him to invest in a piggery project as this would take less time compared to teaching.
Currently valued at Shs 4m, the piggery project is growing big and he is certain that the returns would fill up the income missed from teaching.
Ssekitoleko wants to boost his businesses and later build a posh house.