We all live with untapped potential- perhaps because we’re not aware of it, like the late-career changer who finally figures out they’re passionate about teaching- or perhaps because our community has encouraged us to focus elsewhere, like the investment banker who is an incredible pianist.
How much better would the world be if we could harness all that untapped potential? How much happier would each individual be?
The answer is we don’t know, it’s hard, maybe impossible, to have a quantitative answer. But we do know that the world would be better and we would be happier. That teacher might be the reason one student becomes the scientist who figures out how to reverse climate change. That investment banker, if she spent her time playing the piano, might become a virtuoso player and composer, giving joy and inspiration to all who hear her play.
At Kyusa, we believe that the solutions to the hardest, most intractable world problems can be solved by harnessing this untapped potential. And we believe the key to tapping into potential is passion.
It has been referred to as intrinsic motivation, or being in a flow state, but we call it passion. Your passion is the fuel that keeps you running when everything else in you gives way. It allows you to work harder and more creatively at a task. Your passion opens the spigot to your potential. That is why we specialize in passion-driven education at Kyusa.
Isaac K. came to Kyusa because he couldn’t afford to continue his education. He was unsure of what he wanted to do with his life but he knew he needed a job. When he first came to Kyusa, he was keen on becoming a business entrepreneur. Deep down he knew had a passion for football and a desire to nurture young people, but it didn’t seem to him to be a valid career interest.
Today, Isaac is the founder and head coach at K. Isaac Football Academy in Nabweru and a science teacher at a primary school. Through our three month training program, Isaac identified his passion, verbalized it into a purpose statement, set goals for himself, identified the skills and resources he would need to be successful, and created a plan to achieve his dream that took into account his financial needs. He is happier and more satisfied with his life than he thought he would ever be.
Through the academy and the school, Isaac is working with 30 young people, empowering them, nurturing them, and teaching them. That is the true power of Kyusa: a multiplier effect led by our alumni like Isaac, and Henry (who has started a social enterprise that benefits 30 vulnerable children), and Julius (who started a catering company that has created six jobs), and Sharon (who is currently employed as an office assistant in one of the clearing and forwarding agencies in Kampala). Each one of our alumni is leveraging their passion to develop a career (3 months after the program our alums are making 50% more income than before the program) and make a difference in their communities.
Uganda, like all countries, suffers from a myriad of difficult challenges- unemployment, illiteracy, violence against women, and the list goes on. Through passion-driven education like our training program we can solve these. Thanks to the natural diversity of interests we have, we can be sure that someone will be passionate about addressing each of these challenges. And because they’re passionate, they will put their most productive and creative selves towards it.
At Kyusa we empower out of school youth in urban slums to turn their passion into a sustainable career. We are building a movement that uses passion-driven education to create a generation of change makers. Join us by:
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Doreen Nabakka, is a 20 year self-driven farming entrepreneur from Entebbe- Uganda . She has a passion for music and her life mission is to inspire the young generation to live productive lives by equipping them with relevant skills. She has a calm personality that projects unwavering commitment, resilience and focus. She believes that the key to being a successful entrepreneur is to have a clear and well defined vision for your life and your business that guides your day to day decisions.
Doreen had so many dreams while growing up. She aspired to be a business woman, a musician, a social worker, children worker, dancer, chef and tour guide. But in 2011, she was forced to drop out of school due to lack of tuition. With each passing day, her dream moved further out of her reach. Her light grew darker every day and she resolved to do whatever she could to survive and make ends meet. Fortunately her sister introduced her to the hair plaiting and styling business which kept her going for a while. A couple of months ago, her half-brother who happens to be a former participant introduced her to Kyusa and she signed up for the second intake.
Through her studies at Kyusa, Doreen has rediscovered her dream and has developed strategies to fulfill it. She has learnt that entrepreneurship is all about vision and passion. In learning about how to turn her passion into a profession, her life has opened up to endless business possibilities and opportunities that she had never anticipated. She says; “I envision setting up an organisation in the near future that will help the young generation acquire skills on how to do business and how to live productive lives based on purpose, courage and joy”. Just like any other successful entrepreneur, Doreen is passionately pursuing her vision.
Doreen, unlike many other school drop outs, has identified her life purpose and is living a meaningful life. She is no longer going through the motions of survival but building a legacy that will change her generation and make the world a better place.
Kyusa empowers out of school youth in the urban slums to turn their passions into professions by exploring the use of ICT tools and the development of employable as well as entrepreneurship skills. This is done through a twelve weeks program where participants undergo a rigorous training regime that equips them to successfully launch into the labor market. We invite you to be part of this drive to ‘Raise Generations of Change Agents’ by either recommending a young person for the program or becoming a Kyusa hero (financial partner). Our next intake will be in January 2015
For further inquiries and insights please contact us: Kyusa.firstname.lastname@example.org
We shall be pleased to hear from you.
Perseverance is not a skill that can be learned out of a training session or theoretical class but rather a trait developed through real life experiences. When she talks about perseverance, Joan draws from years of resilience, persistence and consistence. Joan is a 19 year old lady currently enrolled in the Kyusa program aspiring to become an entrepreneur.
Joan was raised by a single mother who had to fend for them as a family. She was charged with the responsibility of catering for all their basic needs. One of the major challenges was paying school fees in time. She was constantly on the list of people sent back home for being unable to pay school fees in time. Her friends came to associate her with the ‘fees defaulters list’, something that she soon grew to embrace. This routine affected her academic performance because often times would be forced to miss school for close to a full month while waiting for the mother to raise her school fees before going back to school. This not only affected her but also her siblings.
Even in the midst of these hardships, Joan developed a resolve to never give up or settle for less. She purposed to keep her head up and to keep pressing on. She took the initiative to copy notes from her classmates and to engage in group discussions so as to catch up. Her esteem was slightly affected but her dignity remained unwavering. It is with this same attitude that she now approaches her entrepreneurship career.
Joan believes that perseverance is an outstanding quality that every entrepreneur should possess. In her class presentation on the subject of; ‘Perseverance as a characteristic of an entrepreneur’, she said- “Not everyone can persevere. Perseverance moves hand in hand with inner drive. An entrepreneur is someone who is capable of persevering in all aspects of business and has the potential to initiate and drive others towards a common goal”.
Every entrepreneur will go through trying times as s/he establishes their business. The times can come in form of making losses, bad business decisions, theft, damages, over production among others. Such moments can be molding moments for an entrepreneur but what will keep her/him going is their attitude towards their work. An entrepreneur must have an intrinsic motivation to keep going no matter what happens. Joan says; “drive is simply the possession of the intrinsic energy to accomplish business goals even in the face of adversity. An entrepreneur must be organized and focused in their pursuit of establishing a successful business”.
Joan, unlike many young ladies that are forced to drop out of school has had the opportunity to tap into her innate potential as a launching pad for career development through the Kyusa training program. Many of the young ladies who drop out of school are forced into early marriages and some are taking jobs overseas only to find themselves forced into prostitution, according to Ugandan police.
Kyusa empowers out of school youth in the urban slums to turn their passions in professions by exploring the use of ICT tools, development of employable and entrepreneurship skills. This is done through a twelve weeks program where participants undergo a rigorous training regime that equips them to successfully launch into the labor market. We invite you to be part of this drive to ‘Raise Generations of Change Agents’ by either recommending a young person for the program or becoming a Kyusa hero (financial partner).
For further inquiries and insights please contact us by leaving a message on the 'Contact us' Page on this website.
We shall be pleased to hear from you.
In June 2014, Kyusa rolled out its pilot project with eleven out of school youth. The project was piloted in one of the urban slums of Kampala. The eleven embarked on a twelve weeks journey to be empowered on how to turn their passions into professions. Unfortunately one of the participants was unable to work through the entire program because he had conflicting schedules with some other commitments.
We are happy to report that through the use of free online courses, mentoring, skills development and entrepreneurship training, Kyusa turned participants’ mindset of hopelessness into determination and confidence. Kyusa’s pilot class graduated on September 27th. As a result of the program, 80% of the participants are either employed or have started their own venture.
During the training, facilitators teach a research-based curriculum composed of 12 modules that develop professional skills, computer skills, and financial literacy while also improving their self-awareness, self-confidence and self-management. In the afternoons of the first month, students complete a basic computer skills training so that in the remaining afternoons they are able to successfully complete an online course on the topic of their choice.
In order to graduate from the program, students must complete the online course as well as hand in an assignment for each of the twelve modules. Assignments help the participants continue to define their interests and plans- for example, a personal SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis or a life plan- as well as set them up for success when looking to start a venture or for employment- for example, a CV or a business plan.
We expect that within 6 months of graduating from the program at least 80% of participants will be earning an income of 100,000 shillings on average per month this goal is based on the performance of the pilot class, where 60% of participants were earning an income of at least 75,000 shillings before their graduation ceremony.
"Have you ever wondered what you would do with ten thousand shillings?", was the opening remark for the Kyusa business development training module. Participants came up with several business ideas that they could start with as little as ten thousand shillings while two totally had no idea besides being amazed at the fact that some one could start a business with ten thousand shillings. It is interesting the answers that came up. We were able to see that business is not a monster that only the people with muscle can conquer but it is all about putting what you have to use. It is a matter of focused and creative thinking. The other question is “now that you have all these ideas what are you going to do?”
In one of the participants words, “I am so grateful to Kyusa because for me I never knew I could do business but now I see that it is possible”. One of the points that the facilitator stressed is Goal setting and meeting targets in business. It is a very common practice for small business owners to work without setting daily or weekly targets. A person wakes up and just goes to work whether or not he sells, it makes no difference. The participants were admonished by stressing the fact that targets help you push yourself to work and achieve. Its important to set goals and work towards achieving them for success.
The first step to getting a business off the ground is getting started. Many people have brilliant and viable business ideas but they are only ideas until someone puts it into practice. Any successful business person will tell you that the key to succeeding in business is getting started and keeping at it until you reach a break even point. Research has shown that a lot of businesses do not make it past their first year and this can be attributed to poor planning and management systems.
In starting up a business, there are key issues that need attention. One of them is Management. Under this is Job Descriptions, Terms of Pay, Purchasing Procedures, List of Equipment(Assets) and the second key issue is Marketing. Marketing has to do with being able to define your service or product. One of the things that came up under marketing is Risk Management. This is an issue that is highly neglected until the problem occurs. This provoked a discussion among the participants about different case studies and scenarios that could risk different businesses which included everyday examples like oil burning, an electric shock and the like. How prepared are you when such things happen?
The planning for any successful venture must focus its greatest efforts on laying the right foundation. Just like it is in building, so it is in business planning. When you take the time to lay the right foundation for your business, you can guarantee its success both in the short and long term. More than having a brilliant idea, you must put in place the right management systems to ensure the smooth running of the business more so in the initial stages. More importantly, your passion and commitment is what will keep you going during the low and dark moments of your business growth. For every valley, remember that there is a mountain top that awaits you.