Orphaned at a young age, Daniel and his siblings were left to fend for themselves; forced to live with grandparents who resented their existence. They faced many difficulties during this period, including the witchcraft their grandmother used to try and kill them. Eventually, Daniel fell victim to a serious drinking problem.

After returning from Kira Farm, Daniel has managed to regain his family land, open up a successful tailoring business, and was elected Youth Leader at the recent Local Council elections.

Already, Daniel has shared many of the skills he learnt at Kira and he plans to set up a tailoring workshop geared to helping train young people in his village. He hasn’t been home long, but he’s already begun improving the lives of the young people in his community!

Daniel used to have a serious drinking problem - there wasn’t a day that went by when he didn’t consume alcohol. Sadly, Daniel’s habit was merely a symptom of his circumstances.

When Daniel was just a boy his father was killed by a tribal group called the Karamojong and his mother passed away just two years later. Orphaned, unloved, and unwanted, Daniel and his siblings were raised by their grandparents who resented their very existence.

‘My grandmother would use witchcraft to try and kill us,’ explains Daniel, now 25. Terrified, his sisters married at a young age to escape their grandmother’s tyrannical rule.

Determined to improve his life, Daniel walked three hours to school every day but by Year 10 he found it impossible to earn enough from his farming work to afford the fees. The young boy’s dreams of become a teacher were dashed.

‘Being out of school and scared of what my grandmother might do to me, I resorted to drinking to cope with my fear,’ confesses Daniel.

A new life beckons

The day Daniel met Kira Farm graduate, Alfred, was the day his life turned a corner.

‘Alfred advised me to join Kira Farm, promising that it would transform my future,’ says Daniel. ‘I’m so glad I was sober that day and could listen to what he was saying.’

Although Daniel enjoyed the food and comforts at Kira Farm Development Centre, it wasn’t an easy transition from the life he was used to in the village.

‘The first two months on Kira were very difficult for me because it is an alcohol-free centre,’ explains Daniel. ‘Living without a drink was very hard, but fortunately we had a busy schedule which helped a lot. My mind was occupied all the time and before I knew it, I was no longer craving a drink.’

Acquiring vocational skills

At Kira Farm Daniel was trained in conservation farming, carpentry, tailoring and computers. He even saw stairs for the first time!

Whilst there he met many other young people, also from challenging backgrounds, which gave him a new perspective on life.

‘I was so blessed to meet other young people who had gone through worse times than myself – it helped stop me feeling sorry for myself,’ explains Daniel.

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Returning home

Since moving back to the village, after 12 months at Kira Farm, Daniel’s life had improved dramatically.

‘Thanks to the confidence I gained at Kira I was able to pluck up the courage to go back to my father’s family and claim the land that was meant for me,’ explains Daniel.

Daniel’s boldness paid off and he was granted 26 acres of land, enabling him to live independently of his grandparents.

Using the tailoring skills he acquired at Kira, Daniel opened a successful tailoring shop and won two school uniform contracts. ‘I have a lot of business because the machine I purchased from Kira does a far better job than the other machines in the village,’ smiles Daniel.

Daniel is thrilled to have saved £160 through his tailoring work – a monumental sum for a young person who had to drop out of school because he couldn’t afford pencils and books.

Daniel’s vision for life has widened and this is reflected in his entrepreneurial and ambitious spirit. ‘I have been able to buy myself a second hand bicycle for £23 which helps me reach the seasonal markets where I can make more money,’ he shares proudly.

Helping others

As well as turning his own life around, Daniel is determined to inspire others too and plans to set up a tailoring workshop when he can train young people in the skills he picked up at Kira.

He has many friends keen to learn from him after they witnessed the difference practical skills can make in a person’s life.

During the recent Local Council elections Daniel was elected Youth Leader and is keen to use the position to bring about change for the many unemployed and disenfranchised young people in his community.

Since then Daniel has provided advice on giving up drinking and also passed on his new skills in making tippy taps (a device made from local materials to enable handwashing), energy saving stoves and conservation farming.

Daniel is optimistic about his future, and the future of his whole village. Watch this space!