From Slum To Fame: Makerere’s Charles Batte
When 24-year old Charles Batter set out to start a farm to supplement his parents’ income, little did he know that he would become a global wonder of what developing a sense of social responsibility can do.
Batte, a 4th year medical student at Makerere University College of Health Sciences has been a social entrepreneur since the age of 20; having grown up in Kamwokya slum, a place where people lack the basics for human survival.
For his contribution to improving the lives of others, Charles Batte won the Global
Ambassador for Social Entrepreneurship award after participating in the ‘Your Big Year 2012’ competition and beating 60,000 people from all over the world. The annual global competition is organised by Smaller World, a global NGO.
“After my Senior Six vacation, I decided to do something; I started working and saved some money for a small farm back in my village in Mpigi. My priority was to help my parents lift their economic burden and create jobs for the people in the village. My ambition is to see this grow bigger so that I can extend it to Kamwokya; do something relevant for the people of Kamwokya”, said Batte.
Although Batte’s intention was to create a source of income for himself and the people in his village, this innovation has seen him scale international heights way beyond what his initial focus was.
“First of all, it makes me feel very happy; I won the competition. But I also feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility. I have to travel around the world, inspiring young people. However, this gives me a platform to further my dream; I hope to get like-minded people to work with, in other parts of the world”, he said.
Just how has the kind of training at medical school influenced Batte in the choices he has made in life and the kind of things he has chosen to do?
“The Community Based Education, Research and Service approach has helped me realize the problems that exist in communities; especially those that are far from the city; their acute need for better services.
Over the last four years of community training, my sense of social responsibility has grown even deeper than before. Originally, my dream was to become a cardiothoracic surgeon and work abroad. Now, I want to stay home and help the people that brought me up”.
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Updated on 2013-05-09 09:25
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