Edward Mukasa’s story is a true testimony of the impact JA’s work has on the lives of its alumni. “Although I was a qualified secondary teacher, I was illiterate in terms of financial management, budgeting, business planning and entrepreneurship since it was outside what I had studied. I was married with children, but I could not plan well for my in order to make life family more meaningful for my family,” Edward says.
He went through the Ugandan educational system from primary to university level and graduated with a diploma in 1994 and a Bachelor of Education in 2003. In order to earn a living, Edward started teaching in three secondary schools.
With a bank loan, he bought a brand new motor cycle ‘boda boda’ to supplement his income from teaching, lending it to a ‘‘Boda Boda” rider for 40,000/= shillings per week. Immediately, the rider requested fuel for 15,000/= shillings. The requests continued, and he quickly realized he was losing money, so he decided to start driving the boda boda myself.
“That is how I met Mr. Robert Gunsinze, who was launching JA programs in Mukono region. I gave him a ride for the day,” Edward continues. Robert was happy to find a teacher riding a boda boda and was interested to know where Edward was teaching, which was in a neighboring school within Luweero District. He introduced Edward to the CEO of JA Uganda. “This became a golden open door to my life and that of the family as I became trained in financial literacy, entrepreneurship, purposeful and growth mindset change. It has made my life and teaching more meaningful than before,” Edward attests. JA Uganda trained him in business planning, budgeting, saving.
In 2011, JA Uganda appointed Edward to be the Regional Program Officer for Luweero, an opportunity which opened the doors for him to travel to Belgium, Norway and Sweden to attend international workshop trainings and exhibitions.
“Since joining JA I have realized that entrepreneurs are not born but made. I started joining local saving groups, investing my little income, budgeting, as well as starting income-generating projects. Using knowledge from JA Uganda, I have saved and purchased land, met the day to day needs for my family and effortlessly pay tuition fees to my children. This would not be possible otherwise.”
“JA Uganda has helped me to learn the use of Informational Communication Technology (ICT) and supplement my income that has brought joy in the faces of my family members. I have discovered the hidden potential within me which was not tapped during my school time,” he concludes.