By Steven Enatu
The youth council leaders in Teso have launched the Teso Youth Agenda under the umbrella of Teso hand to hand Youth Cooperative society.
The launch was done before Robert Ekongot who was representing the Office of the Vice President, Major Retired Jessica Alupo Epel yesterday 20th Dec 2021 at Sterron Walls, Soroti City.
According to the Cooperative Spokespersons, Francis Orisa, the Teso youth agenda is aimed at championing the social economic transformation of the Teso young people, skilling the youth with an estimate of at least five teenage mothers per District and a platform for mobilizing the youth.
“This cooperative will help many youths access affordable loans that can enable them to do business in a simple way instead of going for Bank loans that end up charging them high interests. We are going far to engage other leaders to benefit the youths regardless of political affiliations,” he said.
Joyce Akello, the female youth Councilor Kaberamaido District said the idea is developmental and called upon fellow youth leaders and well-wishers to embrace it.
She however noted that the leaders need to exercise smooth coordination and transparency amongst the executive and members to avoid confusion and setbacks.
“If you look at how other regions and how the economy is transforming, it’s through Sacco’s and groups coming together, with this, yes, it is big covering all the districts in Teso, so we really need effective communication amongst us the youth leaders. We need to scrap the selfish interests whereby if it comes to maturity, others would want to kick other people out. It’s a good agenda and we would like to see it progress,” she said.
Grace Junior Epiu, the male youth councilor Kaberamaido who doubles as the secretary publicity of the cooperative said the cooperative will help in enhancing the livelihood of the young people being the first of its kind.
He said the government has changed its approach where they target organized groups not individuals and hence a need for an organized platform.
“The cooperative is composed of two structures; the youth council and the youth councilors and if we work together as the youth, we shall make it. This cooperative will touch every youth at grassroot level, we started by forming the central executive committee, the next is to Districts, Sub counties, parishes and villages” he said.
Shabban Abas, the male youth councilor Soroti City East who also doubles as the secretary finance said the cooperative has 30 founding members who all paid 10,000shs for registration and 60,000shs to buy three shares each at 20,000shs.
On the same note, the Resident City Commissioner Soroti City, Peter Pex Paak advised the youths to have ideologies that guide them on what direction to take.
He said many times the youths have come up with good proposals but when given opportunities, they end up missing giving examples of the youth livelihood program and other government programs where the youths take money as a group and later disappear.
A trend which according to Robert Ekongot the senior vice presidential advisor said the office of the vice president is taking a keen initiative of mobilization and mindset change as the government enrolls parish development model.
“This trend is not in the youth only, I think the youth inherited it from the elders who would take things for granted. With the mobilization and mindset change, government programs will benefit the citizens and we shall see change,” he said.