In today's fast-paced and technology-driven world, fostering creativity in children has become more crucial than ever before. Parents and educators are recognizing the importance of developing the creative potential of young minds, as it not only enhances problem-solving skills but also cultivates innovation and out-of-the-box thinking.
One business founder who has dedicated his efforts to advocating for creativity in children is Ben Wokorach, the visionary behind an innovative toy-building company “Wokober”. Talking to Ben Wokorach is such a fresh breeze! an architect passionate about filmmaking, education, and above all his true love for creation. Now I don’t know much about passion and true love, but I know if it makes you light up, then it must be it.
The Power of the Toy Festival
At Wokober, toy building is not just about stacking blocks or putting together puzzles; it is an activity that sparks imagination and nurtures the innate creativity of children, providing children with a platform that allows them to construct and create toys using local materials from their environment.
The Wokober Toy Festival offers children a world of endless possibilities. Through the festival, 18 best-performing participants between the ages of 3 and 15 won a chance to join the Wokober mentorship program - an 8-month scholarship program that offers children mentorship and fine-tuning soft skills such as; critical thinking, problem-solving, and developing fine motor skills.
The mentorship program also encourages children to experiment, take risks, and learn from their mistakes - which are vital components of the creative process.
Ben Wokorach’s Vision
Driven by his love for creativity, Ben Wokorach founded "Wokober" five years ago with a mission to empower children to become confident creators. With the sole intention to ignite imagination, foster innovation, and cultivate a deep sense of pride in children's accomplishments.
“Growing up, I found peace in creating, bringing ideas to life - and yet it was a dream that wasn’t nurtured or encouraged. I remember being so good at drawing the different body parts in primary school, and most times my teachers gave me cassava and maize as reward”, says Ben.
Adding that he hopes to transform the community’s mindset about education, and career paths, and promote positive beliefs about creativity. “As a country, Uganda’s education system focuses on only grades - yet there is so much that a child can gain from developing their design and innovation skills through encouraging creativity”, he says.
Creating a Creative Ecosystem
In his pursuit of nurturing creativity, Ben has created the Wokober Community with parents, mentors, and organizations that share his vision. Together, they strive to create a creative ecosystem where children have ample opportunities to explore their creative potential.
Through home visits, the Wokober toy festival, and mentorship programs - Ben and eight other members of his team actively work towards making toy building accessible to all children, regardless of their socio-economic background.
“The Wokober Community has parents who give permission to us to work with their children and nurture their different talents as mentors who inspire the children and guide them. Above all, organizations are also opening their doors to sponsor these children in different areas.”
The Impact of the Wokober Toy Festival on Children
The impact of Ben Wokorach’s advocacy for creativity through toy building is evident in the lives of the children who previously participated in the Wokober Toy Festival and now continue growing their skills in the mentorship program.
Parents of participants in the 2022 Wokober Toy Festival have expressed their appreciation for a platform that offers their children the opportunity to share their creative skills and win prizes that shall help them in school.
In fact, two local primary schools in Gulu have reached out to Ben to have a Wokober Toy Festival program in their schools as of this school term. How awesome!!
The education system in Uganda prioritizes standardized tests and rote learning, which makes Ben Wokorach’s commitment to advocating for creativity through the Wokober Toy Festival both inspiring and transformative. Like Ben himself puts it, “Ingeniously a better world.”
To know more about Wokober, don’t feel shy to reach them on their website and all social media platforms. At the moment, Wokober is looking for mentors from all over the world. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to become a part of the Wokober Community.
Because together, we can create a future where creativity thrives, and nurture the potential of every child.