Someone said when life hands you lemons, sell them and buy some pineapples. I agree, I adore pineapples. But I digress.
When I met Noeline Kirabo who hails from Uganda, I could not help but notice her self awareness, confident humility and a contagious smile that is bigger than life.
A few minutes in to our conversation, she revealed that life had not been very easy for her.
I am the founder of KYUSA which means change in Luganda.
Our main objective is to empower the youth who are ready to join college and train them on how to become employable.
By the end of 2016, we had directly reached 250 young adults.
My mother secretly battled with cervical cancer which I found out after clearing high school and could not join college because we had to pay for her expensive treatment.
It was a huge blow for the young Noeline who encouraged her mother and opted to enroll in free libraries and read everything she could lay her hands on. This changed her life.
My mum recovered fully.
It was a hard time considering to the fact that she raised us as a single parent and I had battled with identity crisis and depression through teenage hood.
This confident leader taught herself computer packages. Her tenacity and natural people skills got her a job with the Youth ministry in Uganda.
Her fearlessness got her top jobs with NGOs that needed a masters degree or PHD as qualifications (She was not qualified) but she applied anyway.
My mum told me that I can be anything I wanted and I could change and shape my world from a young age. This has kept me going all my life.
She has studied social entrepreneurship in India, is a YALI RLC 2017 alumna, among other accomplishments. She uses her spare time to offer motivational talks in schools.
I always tell young people to pursue what they are passionate about.
To better someone else’s life. Our vision at KYUSA is to eradicate youth unemployment in Uganda and expand to other countries.
It was an absolute pleasure to participate at the USAID sponsored YALI program. My dream has always been to work directly with the USAID team. I am a firm believer that dreams come true. [Laughs}
Noeline is currently working on the launch of her first book, Find Your Significance on 20th December 2017. The book is inspired by life experiences and working with young people.
Keep soaring and changing many lives Miss madam, we appreciate you.