Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Jopadhola Community Education and Scholarship Trust (TJC EAST) fund was on Saturday launched, with Kenyan physical planning expert Engineer Vincent K’Odera from Kisumu boosting it with an offer of $1,000 (sh3.6 million) cash.
Engineer Vincent K’Odera, who as a member of the Luo community in Kenya has as a sign of solidarity attended all Jopadhola Community conferences in the past two years, challenged the fund initiators not to wait for government before pushing for improvement in society. He said government simply provides the right environment for the citizens, like the Jopadhola youth, to build on.
The 2nd annual Jopadhola Community Conference 2019 was held at Makerere University and attracted a cross section of cultural and clan leaders, politicians, businessmen, students, civil servants, academics, Luo community from Kenya and well wishers who discussed the theme “A New Era in Padhola; Education and Entrepreneurship as the Engine of Development”.
On the theme, keynote speaker Emmanuel Othieno Akika, a former Minister and MP, said, ” I am excited by the drive to work for a new era, especially at this conference. The challenges our community face, are great and can seem daunting, but we cannot walk away from them. Fundamental to improving the situation, is Education.”
He added that, “The Jopadhola are today wealthier and more educated than before, but inequalities exist. Each human being denied education, is a human being denied opportunity. Why isimportant? An educated person, will know how to keep hygiene, to protect the environment…….If Padhola is to have sustainable development, we need to educate our people to enable each Japadhola to reach their full potential and contribute to Padhola.”
Akika urged the organizers of the conference to also put their full focus on enablers, technology and IT skills, plus education for adults that will bring more people into the category to drive sustained development in all spheres. (Click to read full keynote)
Guest speaker Prof. Erisa Ochieng, a leading Ugandan economist and former Makerere University don, said on entrepreneurship, that,”One of the major obstacles to development in Padhola is that most Jopadhola are satisfied with their current situation. They are in what we call “Low level income equilibrium trap”.
“You often hear a poor person say: I AM OK”
He stirred the audience by adding that ,” Whenever you see a problem, do not see it as a problem… Every problem gives you opportunity to make money by solving that problem!”
He charged further that, “The Jopadhola need to be awakened, and their low income level equilibrium must be destabilized. They must be dissatisfied with the current and strive for better things. Entrepreneurship can play a leading role in awakening the Jopadhola. In conclusion, most Jopadhola should strive to become entrepreneurs.” (Click to read full presentation)
There were several other presentations, and proposals, including by David Ochieng (Rua Lapa) chairman and MD of Parambot group of companies; educationists and businesswoman Engineer Florence Nyaketcho, Dr. Rev. Fr. Romalus Olweny and Gerald Wandera Obbo ; Former MP Patrick Ochieng and on behalf of clan elders Owor Owere Asoka.
The inaugural The Jopadhola Community Conference (TJCC), the first of its kind was held on August 11, 2018 at the same venue under the theme “Positioning the Jopadhola for the 21st Century and beyond.”
The exchange of ideas was on Saturday spiced by cultural performances, parables and similes interpreted by the day’s MC Peter Opata, the launch of the Jopadhola education and scholarship trust fund, and capped by nine key TJCC2019 resolutions.
The resolutions are:
- Work together in Padhola
- Continue to pay total allegiance to The Adhola Cultural Institution (TACI)
- Support the education fund to get quality education and improve lives in Padhola
- Continue to provide laboratories, desks, sets, and equip another 46 primary schools this year.
- Defend Padhola culture, origin and heritage together with the people in Padhola
- Fundamental to improving the situation, is focus will be on education.
- To start a demo skills centre – an bring a variety of skills to Padhola
- Continue to hold the Jopadhola conference annually
- Involve all Kwar Nono (clan elders)