Thousands of tourists from around the world arrive annually in Kenya, “the cradle of civilization,” to gawk at wildlife in Maasai Mara National Reserve. This historically rich and beautiful land, however, is also troubled—terrorist attacks, recurring droughts and high rates of crime, poverty and unemployment make life particularly difficult. Yet Daniel Okello, a Kenya native, has used Scientology to turn a childhood hardship into a way to improve the lives of his country’s residents.
When Okello was a boy, his father worked at a milling company. One day, a short circuit in staff housing led to the destruction of nearly 20 homes.
He says, “I was affected by the help my family and others received when this happened by good Samaritans and volunteers.”
He grew up in the Luo culture, which instills “values of brotherhood, providing for one’s family, living a life of sharing, caring for one’s community,” he says. Understandably, Okello decided to spend his life helping others.
Years later, after earning a post-graduate degree, he was managing Friends Commercial College, a business school in Suna-Migori, when he became discouraged by some of his students’ inability to learn. He and his wife, Margaret, were also having trouble in their marriage.
“We differed in almost every subject, ranging from family finance to parenting,” he says.
By chance, he discovered scientology.org online and was fascinated by Study Technology developed by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. “I wanted to save my students, improve myself as well as my business and marriage by knowing how to know,” Okello says.
A free online course on Study Tech impressed him so much that he then completed the rest of the 19 free online courses at scientology.org, each one on an aspect of Mr. Hubbard’s technologies for life. The courses also foster the skill set of Scientology Volunteer Ministers (VMs), a worldwide force for help. Margaret completed the courses as well.
After introducing Study Tech to his students, Okello says, “Their performance improved, and my student population increased twice within a semester.”
Having seen how effective the Scientology material was, Okello gave his first seminar on Integrity and Honesty, one of the courses, to 30 youths at a local Seventh-day Adventist Church. Encouraged by the positive response to the material, he then gave more seminars on various VM courses to diverse groups, one of which included 65 primary school teachers. “The teachers have now produced the best national examination results of grade-eight pupils in Migori County,” Okello says.
So far, he has delivered 73 seminars and helped to train 7,183 people in the VM courses. Okello and his good works have been featured in various media outlets, reaching many more Kenyans.
Okello says, “I have shared Scientology with people in the streets. I have come to enjoy working as a Volunteer Minister and restoring spiritual values to my fellow human beings. I am still preparing to widen my coverage with VM seminars.”