Moses Ssekyanzi

Moses Ssekyanzi

Recently we had the privilege of connecting with Moses Ssekyanzi, the visionary founder and CEO of Star Hands, an organization committed to empowering youth to become change-makers. They foster an environment where young individuals are encouraged to take initiative, develop leadership skills, and contribute their unique perspectives to drive positive impact in their communities. 


Moses is a dynamic young man whose work in Uganda through Star Hands is characterized by a commitment to driving positive change and fostering empowerment. His impressive effort began as a dream in 2018 when Moses realized that he had to gain experience and understanding of how the nonprofit sector works. To this end, he volunteered as secretary, media and communications personnel, as well as a project coordinator with various organizations in Uganda. This taught him a great deal, and with the drive of his desire to help people and to touch their hearts, by January 2022, Moses embarked on a journey that now results in enabling others to become self-reliant and lead a decent life with dignity.


When I asked him what inspired the name of the organization, Moses admitted that he spent nearly a full month trying to craft a unique name that would be accepted by the Uganda Registration Service Bureau. He chose Star Hands because he believed that with his hands and the hands of his young team, they could be a beacon of hope and light that guides many people, not only in Uganda but also the world at large.


Because we share so many of his sentiments, the team at Oceanbags applauds and observes all the efforts of Star Hands which include positive strides in economic empowerment, female education, menstrual hygiene and reproductive health, climate change, computer and digital skills, water and sanitation, and artistic projects. Moses says that among these, the Girls Inspire Girls Conference (GIG22) and the Climate Education Programs hold the special places in his heart. These events are particularly meaningful because they revolve around inspiration, motivation, and empowerment. Through them, Star Hands had the chance to empower individuals who initially believed they couldn’t contribute significantly to their community or make a difference. Witnessing these people step out of their shells and comfort zones to undertake something important has been truly rewarding. Some participants even initiated their own projects, making a positive impact on their respective communities, while others enthusiastically responded to calls grown out of Star Hands. The eagerness of these beautiful people stems from a strong desire to be part of initiatives that genuinely impact others and their communities.


Although many remarkable stories could be related here, Moses sited one example specifically that impacted him in a life-changing way. “Our School Ambassador, Patricia, is a 15-year-old who attended GIG22 and participated in two of our Climate Education Programs. She stands out as one of the most inspired and empowered young girls, and personally, I take great pride in her achievements. From leading tree planting projects in her school to heading the environmental and wildlife club, she displayed remarkable initiative. Her journey led to her appointment as the School Ambassador of Star Hands Organization in October 2023. Patricia’s empowerment has made her a role model in her community, inspiring many young girls to believe they can emulate her accomplishments and be part of meaningful initiatives. Witnessing her transformative story is not only close to my heart but also a source of immense pride.”


Over a year ago, Moses became passionate about solving hunger, poverty, and promoting education. “This is a commitment that has been lingering in my mind for over a year now. This conviction arose when I returned to my village, only to realize that my community is severely affected by drought, resulting in hunger, extreme poverty, and food insecurity. The children no longer have access to education because their parents can’t afford school fees. Our community relies 100% on agriculture and fishing as the primary economic activities for food and income. In such situations, survival has become challenging, and there are reports of many cases of suicide.


My dream is to start an irrigation scheme or farm, with the primary purpose of employing young people, especially youths, and promoting food security in my community. Through this project, I am addressing three major Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Poverty, Hunger, and Quality Education. I am well aware that when families have access to food and employment, issues of hunger and poverty are alleviated, enabling children from these families to access education.

 

 

“Once these goals are achieved, I envision establishing a school that can provide easy access to education, not only for my community but also for the surrounding communities. Although these dreams seem impossible due to the high amount of funding required to put them into action (about $1.2M), I believe they are possible with the right support and collaborations. I firmly believe that a lot can be achieved when we work together. This is how I envision myself working with Star Hands years into the future. On the other hand, my Climate Activism will not end; I will keep integrating it with Star Hands whenever necessary because we are not limited in what we can do.”


Certainly, we see that Mr. Ssekyanzi knows few if any limitations. We thought immediately of the beautiful work done at Prameya Foundation in the Sundarbans which is so like what Moses envisions, and we have connected the visionaries on both continents. Meanwhile, the Oceanbags team wait and watch in the wings to see where we can supply backpacks or further support to extend and enrich the efforts of the child-loving, planet-loving heroes in our present and future.


In Moses’s words, “We have the ideas and the human resources (volunteers), but we do not have the right support and collaborations in terms of funding and advice.  We need it to prosper. With the right support and collaboration, we are set to do great things together.”


Indeed, we are! We exhort you, readers: please be part of the change for good!


Carry because you care!

(BUY AN OCEANBAG so we can donate to more kids and plant more trees!)


Seek out organizations like Star Hands and Prameya!

Discover how you can help!






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