Job Collins Okello was born on July 31, 1987 to the late Mzee Santo Collins Okello and Mrs. Alicantorina Akumu, in the Lamur Clan of Puranga Chiefdom, Acholi tribe. He grew up in the small village of Baratero, Lagudde Sub-Ward, Gem Parish, Lalogi Sub-County, in the present day Omoro County, Gulu district; and started his primary education at Minja Primary School in 1994. Due to the increased rebel activities in the region, his Dad moved the family to Gulu town in 1998 where he joined St. Joseph’s Primary School in Class 5. However, relative peace returned and in 1999, his Dad moved back to Opit where he sat his Primary Leaving Examinations. While at Opit, he was a leader, serving as a Class Prefect, Health Prefect and Chairman of Debating Club. He actively supported his father’s sunflower business, making it grow steadily into a powerful trade, before leaving it to join secondary school in 2001.
Job Collins joined Bishop Angelo Negri College in 2001, but moved to St. Joseph’s College Layibi for his Senior Two and Three, before rejoining Negri College again in 2004 where he sat for his O’level examinations, becoming among the only nine students to pass with Division One result. He later joined Gulu High School where he studied History, Economics and Geography; establishing himself as one of the brightest and most eloquent young persons in the school – attributes which made him admired widely by both peers and teachers. He moved to Gulu College in 2006, where he sat his Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education.
By 2007, Job had begun venturing into private businesses again, helping local community groups organize and register as required by the Non-Governmental Organizations Act. He was active in the volunteer wing of Family Planning Association of Uganda (now Reproductive Health Uganda) at its Gulu branch clinic. This earned him great reputation and enabled him get elected to represent the youths of Uganda in the National Council, National Executive Committee, and Africa Regional Youth Forum.
By July 2007, Job had been elected the Eastern African Youth Representative of the International Planned Parenthood Federation – Africa Region (IPPFAR), directly placing him at the forefront of political advocacy and representation of young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights priorities before governments, civil societies and multinational corporations in eight countries – Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Seychelles Island and Malawi, until 2011. During this time, he enrolled at Anglia Ruskin University (United Kingdom) and Excelsior College (New York, USA) where he pursued Law and Business respectively, through distance learning system.
In 2011, Job contested for Northern Uganda Youth Member of Parliament, and had a brief stint at Consumer Education Trust in Kampala, where he served as Programme Officer, before founding the Summit Foundation (SUFO), and assuming the role of the Chief Executive Officer. He successfully led SUFO, overseeing its resource acquisition and expansion of programmes to all the 7 districts of Acholi region. He retired from the CEO role at SUFO in April 2015, to embark on elective politics.
Job retired from active civil society work on April 30, 2015; but remained the Vice Chairman of Uganda Youth Network (UYONET), a position he was elected to by the Annual General Meeting in April 2014. He’s actively and deeply involved with community organizing, development planning and civic empowerment of our youth, men and women.