Executive Director at Kinawataka Women Initiatives
Benedicta Nanyonga, 69 old. Widow with six children, 10 grand children and 15 needy children she is caring for. Her education is senior one. She worked with Bank of Uganda for 23 years and left in 2001 due her medical problem.
2005, she started collecting straws and people in her area called crazy as she was working in the bank of Uganda, they said that (Butabika) the hospital for the crazy people is waiting for her, even her children were against6 the project, they said Mummy you are ashaming. I did not listen to any of those. I went ahead mobilizing my fellow women and youths training them in income generating activities using used straws. 794 women and 300 youths have been trained.
2007 she started involving herself in several exhibition, workshop and seminars and people appreciated her initiatives where she gained a very big network up to now nationally and internationally. She encouraged her fellow women not to discriminate any work. And she strongly supports families train their children to be entrepreneurs as they say that charity begins at home.
Founder & Executive Director Women's Health Foundation
Irene Ndagire has over eight years experience in various aspects of physiotherapy and cardiac rehabilitation. She is the founder of Women's Health Foundation (WHF), a registered NGO in Uganda, and is currently the executive director. Irene and her team strive to support and advocate for women's pre- and post-reproductive health in Uganda, with the core objective of celebrating healthy women! With her professional background as physiotherapist, Irene has been able to run a physiotherapy clinic that funds WHF activities within different communities of Uganda. Irene has a bachelor's degree in Physiotherapy, a diploma in Physiotherapy and a certificate in Cardiac Rehabilitation. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Irene plans to pass the skills obtained on to her team, thus continuing to reach out to the different women in Uganda and improving their quality of life.
Despina Namwembe is a social scientist with a Master?s in Peace and Conflict Studies. She coordinates the work of over 30 grassroots interfaith organizations doing different social action in the Great Lakes countries of Africa. Despina is a community organizer and trainer who also mentors many in organizational development. Growing up in a continent that sometimes fuses strong customs with religion to deter full women participation, Despina has a passion for addressing issues that support women and girls to achieve their full life potential. She is widely traveled; something that has helped her conceive many life-changing situations outside the box. She is also a contributor to literature in the areas of interfaith, gender, environment and peacebuilding.
I am a Ugandan woman, aged 43, holding a Master of Arts degree in Gender Studies, with demonstrated and successful development work in Africa and Asia at policy, management and implementation levels. Currently, I am a Consultant ? Coordinating the Hormonal Contraception and HIV linkage work at International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) Eastern Africa. Previously, I worked as the Communication and Advocacy Officer at the ICW Global Secretariat, developed publications that advanced ICW? global advocacy agenda. I was a reviewer of the applications for the 21st International AIDS Conference 2016 Global Village and Youth Programme (GVYP) that was held in Durban. I am an Associate member of the Programme Advisory Panel of RCNF, reviewed proposals that were submitted to RCNF in 2015. I am a member of Global Expert review panel for sexual and reproductive health/HIV linkage. I coordinated economic policy advocacy, economic empowerment and gender responsive budgeting interventions.
Co-founder and CEO Shared Action Africa
Evelyn Nassuna from Uganda is the founder and CEO of Shared Action Africa (SAA), a social enterprise located in Uganda. Shared Action Africa works together with Savings Groups, to empower rural women and youth by providing access to a network of financial solutions for economic empowerment that are socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. Evelyn holds a Master?s degree from Georgetown University School of Law in Washington, DC and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania. Evelyn is a fellow of the Women?s Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program and a fellow of the Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa Fellowship Program at Georgetown University Law Center. She is member of the Advisory Council of One World Children?s Fund in California USA and a member of the Rotary Club of Kampala-Naalya, District 9211. She is the Chairperson of FINE Savings and Credit Cooperative Society based in Uganda.
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