A panel discussion
Author, The 5 Love Languages
President, Obama Foundation
Bradley Obi the personal assistant to Ebby Weyime CEO and founder of the Grace Cup Kenya.
Ebby is a certified menstrual hygiene management trainer and consultant. Grace Cup works in providing reproductive health training and affordable reusable menstrual products for young girls and underprivileged women. Their goal is to ensure that no young girls are out of school or miss out on opportunities because they are unable to afford menstrual hygiene products.
Theresa Farai Nyava is a Menstrual Health Enthusiast and Founder of Sanitary Aid Zimbabwe Trust, a charitable organization that she started on her own when she was 21 years old. She is on a mission to eradicate menstrual poverty in Zimbabwe through distribution of free sanitary care products to disadvantaged groups of girls and women including homeless, differently abled, female prisoners and refugees, and school girls, among others. This organization also offers menstrual health and hygiene education, is very active in policy lobbying and advocacy, research and raising awareness about menstruation through writing and being featured in local and international publications. Theresa is a 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni, 2020 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), 2019 Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) alumni, 2019 FemBiobiz Acceleration Season 3 National and Regional Winner, 2019 Awief Pitch, Go winner and 2019 Giraffe Heroes Award winner.
Hyasintha Ntuyeko is a social Entrepreneur and a registered Professional Engineer. She challenged her status quo 11 years ago immediately after finishing university studies. She is the founder and CEO of Kasole Secrets which creates positive change in the world by: 1) developing and selling innovative disposable sanitary pads embossed with bamboo charcoal; 2) providing menstrual health education which includes boys and men alongside girls (these activities are funded by her hybrid business model); and 3) encouraging menstrual health innovation within communities by partnering with local and international organizations. You can read her full entrepreneurship journey online at the following site: http://ns3329717.ip-94-23-51.eu/hyasintha-ntuyeko-starting-small-but-dreaming-big/.
Grace Françoise NIBIZI is the Founder and Executive Director of SaCoDé, a nonprofit Organization based in Burundi in East Africa. She created SaCoDe in her garage with a passionate vision to help disadvantaged women raise their youth children in dignity.Today, Grace oversees programs that use mobile phone SMS for reproductive health education and menstrual health and hygiene; provides counseling and services in SaCoDé youth centers, public schools and among communities; and produces education and information videos, many of which focus on the needs of youth and women’s empowerment.
She is recognized for her innovation of the Agateka sanitary pads which are washable, reusables wearable with or without an underwear for Menstrual Hygiene Management. This product is changing lives of underprivileged school girls and has now received two awards and recognitions.
She is an inspirational leader who tells stories that inspire action. She is respected as a credible voice in policy making and that allows her to earn a seat at the table where norms and standards are implemented. She was one of the speakers of the first Next Einstein Forum.
Grace is a certified participant in the International Visitor Leadership Program ( IVLP) supported by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She is a Segal Family Foundation African Visionary almunia and a current fellow of the Duke University – UNICEF Innovation Accelerator Program. She takes a vision and makes it reality through sound strategy development.
Christine Isingoma is a mother of eight and wife to a pastor in Hoima, Uganda. She co-founded New Life Nursery and Primary School which was started in 2008 with 27 pupils. At that time, Christine and one other teacher began the vision. The classes were held in New Life Presbyterian Church. This school is part of a network of schools that partner with the initiative Knickers for New Life (KFNL) which helps provide the girl child access to Ugandan-made 95% biodegradable Makapads, builds latrines in schools, and offers boys and girls access to menstrual education workshops and Ugandan-made mosquito repellent soap.
Christine’s school partnered with KFNL in October 2016 when there were 178 students from Kindergarten through 6th grade, many of whom were poor/orphaned, and under-resourced. In 2018, enrollment jumped up to 324, with many of the new students being girls who had dropped out due to lack of resources to handle their menstrual cycle previously.
New Life Primary has gained a strong reputation in their community “for caring for the girl-child.”
Christine has been instrumental in helping establish and support partnerships with other schools in western Uganda currently benefiting more than 2,000 children.
Andrew Auruku is the CEO and Founder of Youth and Women for Opportunities Uganda (YWOU), a non-profit organization in the Teso region of Eastern Uganda. Andrew founded YWOU to provide support for the most disadvantaged social groups in the region in an effort to release them from economic and social poverty and enable them to live responsible and fulfilled lives while having good health and educational opportunities. YWOU’s mission is to improve the livelihoods of those living in the poorest communities through holistic training programs, quality educational opportunities through scholarships and bursaries, life skills and vocational training, health and wellbeing, HIV/AIDS programs, economic empowerment and family support, sports and recreation programs, and fundamental human rights and advocacy.
Andrew’s role in YWOU is establishing a vision for community impact that is achieved through the efforts of a diverse team of high-performing leaders, staff and volunteers alike. He has over ten years of experience in health and development, including education such as areas of girls’ education and social empowerment. He has skills in fundraising, leading and organizing training and educational campaigns, community mobilization, human relations, and facilitation.
Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Laboratory Technology from Makerere University. As a chief mobilizer he leverages the power of relationships and networks, and works across private, public and corporate sectors to improve conditions in the community. He possesses a high level of broad business and management skills and is effective at generating resources and financial support for the organization.
His community impact responsibilities include the overall impact of Youth and Women for Opportunities Uganda-YWOU on the community, with particular emphasis on increasing its capacity to drive the impact agenda. Andrew works closely with the board to craft and adapt strategies to achieve increased impact, including raising the funds to support organizational programmes. He establishes and builds relationships with top leaders in the community, including those representing the highest levels in business, government and non-profit sectors.
He is responsible for driving key results in fundraising; identifying, cultivating and soliciting prospective donors and key leaders of prospective new corporate partners; to leverage personal and professional contacts and relationships into fundraising opportunities; and to promote a culture of fundraising in YWOU as an organization, both at the staff and board level.
He serves as the principal resource to the Board of Directors and its key committees and gives strong direction in policy formulation and interpretation. He works with the board of directors and the senior leadership team to craft organizational goals and develop strategies to ensure that they are achieved. He ensures coordination and alignment of all YWOU activities to strategic direction in the areas of community impact, resource development, and staff alignment.
You can find out more information at http://ywoug.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/YWOUg/.
Florence Akara is a former corporate lawyer with experience in Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania. She is the director of Femme International, a non-profit that has over the past eight years, offered menstrual sexual reproductive health (MSRH) education, research and product distribution in East Africa. Florence believes that investments/resources in MSRH in the past decade have not been sustainable. The status remains unchanged, still rife with stigma, taboos and myths that continue to negatively affect the physical, psychosocial health of women and girls.
Florence has dedicated her time at Femme to refining the Twende Initiative, a feminist social business solution that is key to disrupt the status quo, achieve universal menstrual equity by 2030, and generate a reliable source of income for Femme to have financial sustainably run its social impact work.
This year’s honorees include Annette Bernard, Director, Christian Cultural Center Food Pantry and Simone Muschett, Executive Director, Resilient Young Minds.
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