The Collective UG is a non-denominational gathering of Christian youth bringing together their unique and collective skills to create extravagant worship moments.
Our mission is cultivate a culture of extravagant worship among the youth of Uganda, and our vision is to see our nation grow as young people encounter God and find purpose in Him.
Colossians 3:23 teaches us to serve and work as though we were serving God and not human masters. If we were to genuinely adopt this culture, and adopt it extravagantly, Whereby extravagant is qualitative and not quantitative, then our society, as far as service delivery is concerned, would be in a very good place.
- Youth Unemployment
Youth unemployment is a serious problem on the African continent, where the share of the population of young people between the ages of 15-24 is rapidly growing, but not in tandem with the job market.
Uganda has one of the youngest and fastest growing populations in the world, with 53% of our population being below the age of 15. Well above the sub Saharan average of 43.2%. 78% of our population is below the age of 30. This is second only to Nigeria’s 83%.
Every year, approximately 500,000 people are expected to enter the labour market. hence the number of new entrants into the labor force will be growing and will be younger in the next few decades; currently, 64% of the unemployed are aged 24 and under.
- The Remedies
Various organisations, including World Bank, ACODE, UNDP and The Government of Uganda, among others, have in the past launched and continue to launch projects and programs aimed at addressing this issue of youth unemployment.
A lot of these programs target students in tertiary institutions and post graduate students, seeking to equip them with tools for innovation and Job creation. Whether these programs are sufficient enough to address our unemployment situation, is a completely different discussion.
However, concerning the topic of youth engagement and empowerment, there is very little being done at the secondary school level. That is to say, the teen age
Most of the youth programs targeted at the teenage students tend to be hinged on behavioral management, addressing adolescent vices and good grades in school.
As a result, a lot of the much needed engagement concerning matters of purpose and identity are left to the educators within the school systems.
It is our opinion that introducing ingenuity to the curriculum at a graduate or tertiary school level is an attempt to treat the symptoms of a disease that is rooted in the absence of a well-developed identity.
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
It is always interesting, the answers we hear, when we ask students this question. A few are very decided about their answer, even passionate about it. Some respond with a sense of rebellion.
The majority however are clueless. Even at the university level. It doesn’t matter whether they are studying a very specialized discipline or not. At the end of the day, the academic process, to a lot of our students, is merely a phase of life. There is no sense of identity or purpose in the equation.
Introducing The Collective UG
Since our conception, The Collective UG has been about young people (Especially students between ages of 13 and 25 yrs) encountering God, and finding their identities and purpose in Him.
Our key scripture being 2 Timothy 1:9 which reads, He has saved and called us to a holy life, not because of anything we have done, but according to His own purpose and Grace. The idea that God not only wants to save us but has also called us according to His own purpose.
If God, the creator of all things has ordained a purpose for each one of us, then the ultimate strategy is to connect with Him, and live out that purpose extravagantly.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 in the amplified translation reads that God makes all things beautiful in their time. And He has also put eternity (A divinely implanted sense of purpose) in the hearts of men. Yet no one knows what has done from the beginning to the end.
The point really, is that God not only wants to save us but has also called us to a Holy life full of purpose. And so, connecting with Him and growing in that purpose has to be the ultimate life strategy.
What we therefore set out to do as The Collective UG, is to reach out to the students in high schools with this message of purpose. A message of hope rooted in the word of God.
Songs have been written carrying this same message, recorded and distributed among the students of this age group because we want these words to become their anthem until their hearts start to believe it and their lifestyles start to reflect it.
In many ways, the season we are living in now feels like the opening sentence from Charles Dickens Tale of Two Cities. It is the best of times and the worst of times.
The internet has created global connectivity which in many ways has opened doors to fantastic opportunities. Our access to the best information in the world has never been so simple. Within a few clicks on our mobile devices, we can learn about almost anything we choose to search for.
Yet at the same time, the global connectivity has put our social and moral integrity at risk. People have become islands because connecting on social media has replaced human interaction. Morality has never been questioned more than it is being questioned today, as human rights have made the wrongs ok.
It is a terrible time for one to find oneself stuck with questions of purpose and identity. Because both the internet and society are readily armed with all the wrong answers to this dilemma. Drugs and substance abuse, Alcohol, gambling among other things. And sometimes, even suicide.
It is therefore necessary that our youth at this key stage of life have physical access to people whose agenda is genuinely about the students. About equipping them with tools, information and an environment that builds them, strengthens their identities and self-esteem, preparing them to have what it takes to navigate through life’s very dynamic circumstances.
In the last 22 months of running this program, we have continuously evolved through a process of orchestrating and evaluating everything to find ways of being more effective at achieving our objectives.
We have broken down our process into three phases.
- Inspire… whereby we continuously find ways to include within our activities moments of deep inspiration that trigger the students in built desire to be great. This could be through a song, a video, a testimony or even a simple message.
- Connect… We make the isolated time to connect with the students, allowing them to ask all their questions, and to the best of our abilities, answer them with honesty. Highlighting turning points in our own lives that the students can learn from.
- Equip… First with the word of God, because all Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
As our relationships grow, and opportunities present themselves, we also seek to be able to equip these students with skills or lessons that can aid them on this Journey of living purposefully.
Journey So far
In the last 22 months of active ministry, we have visited many schools in this central division. Had Fellowship with close to 10,000 students and witnessed approximately 600 decisions being made by the students to live for God.
We have recorded and released 5 term project, which brings us to 18 songs of worship and 5 messages encouraging the students to encounter God and find Purpose in him. The music has travelled globally in ways we never anticipated and has essentially taken a life of it’s own.
All this has been made possible by the volunteers that have signed up for this mission, continuously giving of their time and talents, and the faithful partners who have given us money and assets that enable us to carry out the mission effectively.
Plan for the future
In the coming year of 2017, we intend to broaden our outreach programs in order to reach more schools country wide, and to modify the activities of all our programs with the goal of being more intentional about meeting our objectives.
We plan to start the year with a conference titled Sold Out! Slated for the 21st and 22nd of January 2017 at UMA Multi-Purpose Hall.
At this conference, we intend to create a highly stimulating environment of possibility, within which professionals from different fields of the working class will be able to interact and share their life stories with the students at the conference.
There will also be keynote presentations from Mr. Moses Mukisa of Worship Harvest ministries and Mr. Thomas Obunde from Word Of life Fellowship addressing the subjects of ‘God and Identity’, and ‘God on The Journey’ respectively.
We want to expand our reach as far as the school outreach programs go, to be able to reach more regions of the country. And in order to have a more meaningful program, we intend to build a system of discipleship that will remain behind beyond the music to build meaningful relationships with the students we encounter.
Jesus taught us in how he lived that in order to have an impact that transcends physical reach and time, it’s not the large masses we address but the 12 essential relationships we purposefully build in discipleship that will carry the message and influence culture.
We hope to achieve this by engaging our already existing relationships with ministries like Church Of Uganda, Word of Life fellowship and Worship Harvest, to develop a process of recruiting, training and commissioning teams to go out on mission and on purpose.