Tukundane Levi Napoleon, the Founder and CEO at Touch One Reach All (TOORA) like any other youth envisioned a bright future teeming with endless possibilities. Apart from just believing, he also worked towards achieving that dream and is now reaping the dividends of his sweat. TOORA is a youth-led Community-Based Non-profit Organization that empowers less privileged groups especially youth, women, PWDs and the elderly to ensure holistic and inclusive economic empowerment through vocational training, advocacy, capacity building, networking and partnerships to achieve sustainable development in the region.
Tukundane started TOORA in 2017 and superintended its community operations until it’s registration in 2021 in Rukungiri District, South Western Uganda. TOORA runs different projects that promote social Justice and complement the realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. TOORA’s Vision is; economically empowered communities for sustainable development. Tukundane’s academic background is in Journalism and Communication having graduated in 2022 from Makerere University.
Additionally, he is also a Resolution Project fellow and a rich leadership background on which he premised the foundation of the TOORA initiative. He was President for MasterCard Scholars and Guild president aspirant at Makerere University, President for BRAC alumni for Southern Uganda and chairperson of different student associations at University and in high school.
Motivation to start TOORA.
Tukundane grew up in a deep village and witnessed several social injustices in the community, also within his own polygamous family. Getting quality education was always a dream despite his brilliance until he won a scholarship to go to Ntare School for A ‘level and later Makerere University for his Bachelor’s degree.
As he went to these top institutions, he always reflected on the many brilliant children who were deep down in his community without opportunities like the one he got to realize their dreams. This motivated him to start community outreaches to do career guidance, motivation talks, and charity in form of scholastic materials to the academically talented but economically disadvantaged children which activities eventually turned into TOORA by the time he completed University.
Raising Capital for TOORA.
From the start, TOORA entirely survived on Tukundane’s own pocket money from University stipend. Whatever he got for his upkeep would be halved for charity, even to his needy campus friends. His deep rooted passion for charity also saw him join several charity groups at campus. But, this was complimented by his empathetic friends who always moved with him even when they never had a penny, and would at times sacrifice the little they had. In January 2022, TOORA won its first grant from the Resolution Project to fund the Hands-on Skilling Project for PWDs, vulnerable women and youth.
For all his tireless efforts, Tukundane has been rewarded handsomely as TOORA has grown in leaps and bounds. First and foremost, he has been able to build a strong team of eight committed and competent individuals, largely professionals who volunteer with him in their operations to extend social justice to communities in their activities. In addition, hundreds of children have been mentored and given career guidance in communities where they operate.
Furthermore, at least 50 vulnerable youth and women have been mobilized, equipped with skills, given raw materials to make crafts and are making good crafts for sale to generate income for their families to better their living standards. These direct beneficiaries are required to mobilize and empower others with the acquired skills. This has been done and several community members have been impacted.
Having an interaction with Tukundane, one may be deceived that it has been a bed of roses. However, there are several challenges that have persisted right from the inception of the business idea. The biggest of these challenges is limited resource capacity to scale up operation and better lives of a wider community. This has been engineered by their present capacity which is small due to limited funding.
Consequently, their growth has been stunted but in the next ten years, they are aiming at tapping into the regional and national markets. TOORA has also recognized a great need for economic empowerment due to high rate of poverty in local communities and these local communities need vocational skilling intervention to address the problem of unemployment and poverty.
Advice to the Youth.
Tukundane is of the view that all the young Ugandans and Africans who are yet to start on implementation of their ideas, ought to start now with the little they have or can afford. He asserts that opportunities usually find those who have something small to reflect the bigger idea and starting small with whatever one has, sets one on a course to dream bigger as events unfold.