An initiative to recognise 10 young activists who are doing exceptional work towards achieving Gender Justice and Reconciliation in Africa.
Humphrey is a seasoned youth Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) advocate, leader, change agent. As the Team leader and Founder of Reach A Hand, Uganda (RAHU), Humphrey is advocating for a country and ultimately a world where everybody, women and men, boys and girls are valued equally, and are able to share equitably in the distribution of power, knowledge and resources. To achieve this, Humphrey has created a movement of young advocates across Uganda through a youth led and youth serving platform of 16 core team members and 200 volunteers (growing per year) under the Peer Educators Academy who by the end of 2016, had helped to directly reach over 600,256 males and 346,125 females within schools, carried out over 5000 Focused Group Discussions in over 70 schools, reached over 800,881 youth out of school through dialogues and outreaches, and over 800,000 young people on social and online media on SRHR, youth empowerment and related issues.
Some of the gender justice campaigns that he and his team have carried out included the #LetGirlsBeGirls campaign that sought to address the high rates of teenage pregnancy and child marriages across Uganda in 2015. In 2016, the campaign metamorphosed into the #BetterLife4Girls campaign that has become one of the biggest multimedia advocacy campaigns in Uganda. Another notable campaign/project Humphrey has introduced is the Katereza Community Alliance based in the rural district of Mbarara in Western Uganda. The project is empowering women and girls through giving them access to employment and livelihoods. Humphrey’s mission is to support his peers take control of their lives and present themselves in ways that inspires, impresses and spurs confidence in themselves and their peers under a platform where they have full opportunities to take part in the process of breaking barriers hindering them from making informed choices in life regarding their SRHR. RAHU has grown from a weekend outreach program to a fully-fledged functioning youth led and youth serving organization which has just rolled out its next five years strategic plan which focuses on girl child empowerment, expanding to more districts through partnering with youth led Community Based Organizations (CBOs) as well as establishing a youth center. RAHU has also won confidence of respected international partners for example UNFPA Uganda, UNESCO, Rutgers, Segal Family Foundation. Planned Parenthood Global and MTV Staying Alive Foundation among others.
Wadi Ben-Hirki is from Adamawa State. She is a recent graduate of Covenant University, Nigeria where she was awarded Class of 2017 Philanthropist of the year and one of the top 10 most influential graduates.
Wadi is the Founder of Wadi Ben-Hirki Foundation (WBHF), a registered charity organization based in Nigeria. Their major projects are: Street2School where less-privileged children are provided with access to education, GirlsNotWives, an avenue where we campaign against the challenges faced by marginalized and disadvantaged young girls and women in my community and beyond. Some of the challenges are: female genital mutilation, rape, girl child marriage and trafficking among others. It’s also a platform where they advocate for gender equity and girl-child education. Their hird project is LITMOW (Love In The Midst Of War) which focuses on reaching out to the survivors of the Boko Haram insurgency in Northern Nigeria. The Foundation launched a business, Sapphire by WBHF, where branded merchandise are made and sold to help raise funds for the foundation so they will not only depend on people’s donations or support. The foundation also empowers young girls and women by teaching them various skills to enable them work with us and also enable them become self-employed so they can raise money for themselves and their families.
Wadi recently started an empowerment initiative named “SHEROES by WBH” aimed at helping young girls discover themselves, their potentials, their purpose and helping those with low self-esteem overcome it through routine meetings, seminars, check-ups, exercises and afterwards, carry out individual follow-ups to ensure progress is being made. Wadi is currently a member of the Association of Women’s Rights in Development, Ruby Ladies and key member of WARS (War Against Rape and Sexual Abuse) Initiative.
Wadi is an enabler at the Young Stars Foundation Female and More self-esteem Boot camp 2017. Furthermore, she is also one of the Kaduna State Coordinators of the #NotTooYoungToRun Campaign and at the Youth Organizing School 2017; they launched #ThePowerOf18 Campaign where they advocate for youth and women inclusion and participation in politics and governance.
Isaac Ejakhegbe is a Founder and Executive Director of Youth Spotlight Initiative – a youth led organization that has a background in public health and health promotion. Currently with seed grant from Women Deliver, Isaac is implementing a project to end female genital mutilation as a way of addressing gender based violence/improving the health of young girl and women in Nigeria. He is also passionate on promoting youth access to contraception, and his MSc thesis was on gender equality, women empowerment and contraceptive use aimed at advocating for a broader health policy, programming and financing for women and girls access to FP and how male can be supportive on women access to FP services
Brian Mutebi is the Founder and Executive Director of the charity, Education & Development Opportunity – Uganda and the architect of the Brian Mutebi Dream Scholarship Fund, the first scholarship scheme in Africa for survivors of gender based violence and teenage mothers. He is a 2016 winner of the “120 Under 40: The New Generation of Family Planning Leaders” at the Gates Institute, featured on Uganda’s “Top 40 Men Under 40” and named Commonwealth Young Achiever by the Commonwealth Youth Council UK.
Mutebi is a development worker and award-winning journalist, gender and women’s rights campaigner featuring on Women Deliver global list of “15 journalists, 15 voices for girls and women” for his extensive writing and advocacy on gender and girls’ and women’s rights. He is a contributor to Arise Magazine, a women’s development magazine published in Uganda by gender and women’s rights advocacy organisation, Action for Development. He is the Uganda country coordinator for the “East Africa’s Big Men” project funded by the European Journalism Centre that examines masculinity and its effect on gender development and uses multimedia platforms to tell character-led stories of men in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda who are defying gender stereotypes and advancing women empowerment. His insightful and well researched articles have brought to national and international attention gender disparities and women’s rights issues in Uganda that would otherwise be ignored.
Mutebi is a Fellow at the AU-EU Youth Plug-In Initiative that provides for a broader, active and meaningful participation and representation of young people and youth civil society actors in decision-making processes of Europe and Africa. Previously, Mutebi was Features Writer at Daily Monitor, Uganda’s leading independent daily; Project Administrator for A Rocha Uganda and students’ volunteer coordinator for the Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Students Project.
Mutebi has a Bachelor of Tourism Degree from Makerere University specialising in communication and project planning and management. He has had several local and international training in journalism and communications and has certificates in Computer Applications, Project Cycle Management and Peer Training & Gender Mainstreaming. He has 10 years of experience in journalism, development communication and project planning and management.
Âurea is a feminist activist and mobilizer based in Luanda, Angola. After living in South Africa for 7 years, where she studied Economics (BCom Hons) and worked as a development research associate at the University of Cape Town, she moved back to Angola in early 2016 and co-founded Ondjango Feminista, an informal collective of feminists advocating for women’s rights from a perspective of social justice, freedom and solidarity.
Her work at the collective is multifaceted, ranging from day-to-day activities such as managing social media, to more programmatic and strategic actions such as facilitating workshops, writing feminist opinion pieces, serving as a spokesperson, and developing consciousness-raising content. Committed to advocating for women’s rights at all levels, Âurea is currently looking at pursuing further studies in Development Studies which will allow her to engage and challenge policymakers in Angola to enact policies and develop plans that center women’s rights and social and economic justice.
Ms. Omowumi Ogunrotimi is a Legal Practitioner and Social Development Activist. She has been actively engaged in various initiatives with a strong emphasis on gender and young-people’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). For these programmes, she developed, managed and produced several episodes of three media programmes: ‘Expressions’, ‘Our World’ and ‘The Gap’, all which have been aired on various TV and Radio stations across Nigeria.
Her social development activities include the organization of a Prison-Outreach programme, wherein she taught inmates Entrepreneurship, Vocational, and Literacy skills, as well as Social Studies.
In recognition of her important work on Sexuality education in the country, Ms. Ogunrotimi was invited, in 2012, by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to moderate a session at its National Family Planning Conference in Nigeria. During the same year she was also invited, and fully-sponsored, to attend the African Conference on Sexual Health and Rights, held in Namibia.
In recognition of her intellectual abilities, Ms. Ogunrotimi was recruited as a Legislative intern at Nigeria’s National Assembly immediately following the completion of her undergraduate studies in Law, at the Ekiti State University; from which she graduated with a Second-Class Honours. While at the National Assembly, she was responsible for the drafting of Bills and Motions, provision of support to the Legislative Committees on both the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Human Rights, as well as the conduction of interviews; particularly on issues relating to affirmative action for Women.
In addition to her National-level work, Ms. Ogunrotimi has also volunteered for a number of International Institutions and Organizations, including The Population Council, ActionAid International – on its Activista Programme – which works with young people around the World to address important challenges such as Hunger and Poverty, as well as the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN) – where she served on its National Executive Committee for 4years.
Over the years, Ms. Ogunrotimi has been actively engaged in addressing Global Development agendas, such as the SDGs (also STATE IT IN FULL); with her (STATE YEAR OF PUBLICATION) book ‘The Maze and the Map’, she addressed the crucial issues of Food-security and Poverty-reduction in Nigeria.
Currently Ms. Ogunrotimi is an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, as well as Founder of ‘Gender Mobile’; a technology-driven initiative and platform that provides specialized support services to Girls and Women survivors of Social Injustice within the African continent.
Koketso Moeti has worked for range of international and national organisations. She currently serves as the Founder and Executive Director of amandla.mobi a community of over 128, 000 people working to turn every cellphone into a democracy building tool.
She is also the Deputy Chairperson of the SOS Coalition and a 2017 Aspen Institute New Voices fellow. Koketso has a long background in civic activism and has over the years worked at the intersection of governance, communication and citizen action. When she’s not working, she can be found peddling words and has been published by the Mail & Guardian, City Press and Al Jazeera among others. Most importantly, Koketso has no sense of humour so don’t bother trying to make jokes with her, it’s a waste of both yours and her time.
Naleli Morojele is a gender and transformation scholar and practitioner. She has a deep love for Africa and its people, and has dedicated her professional life to exploring new knowledge(s) and praxis for the advancement of social justice and equality in the continent.
She holds a BA degree from Wheaton College, Massachusetts, in Women’s Studies and International Economics, and an MA from the University of the Free State, South Africa, in Africa Studies. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Higher Education Studies, under the supervision of leading transformation scholar and practitioner Prof. Andre’ Keet.
Naleli’s research interests include women’s transitional and post-conflict contributions to reconciliation, social cohesion, gender equality and transformation, and democracy and accountability, as well as gender representation and decolonisation in institutions of higher learning in South Africa.
She has recently joined the South African Human Rights Commission as a Human Rights Officer where she undertakes human rights research, advocacy, and monitoring in the Free State province.
Her publications include; Women Political Leaders in Rwanda and South Africa: Narratives of Triumph and Loss (Budrich Academic Publishers, Berlin), Dlamini-Zuma and Hillary Clinton: Sexism, Racism, and Party Fractures Make a Perfect Political Storm (Daily Maverick, South Africa), African Women Winning Elections: Lessons for Hillary Clinton (Media Diversified, London), Accord Peacebuilding Handbook 2nd Edition: Chapter 5 Gender and Peacebuilding (Accord, Durban).
Naleli is also trained in development project management monitoring and evaluation, in conflict resolution mediation and facilitation, and is a member of the Women Waging Peace Network at the Institute for Inclusive Security in Washington D.C.
Juliana Kariri was born in the year 1985 on the 3rd of November in Mutare, Zimbabwe. In 2011 Juliana graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with Bachelor of Laws Degree. She started off her career in 2012 as the Compliance Officer of the Zimbabwe Youth Council, a statutory body that advises government on matters relating to youth policy. It was in this capacity that Juliana worked with a number of girls seeking help to overcome the obstacles to progress in various ways. To respond to their needs, Juliana started the Girls Wisdom Hub Foundation in 2013 as a girls accompaniment programme. She spent time with girls, providing mentorship and coaching in different parts of rural Zimbabwe.
With the help of a few friends, the Society of Jesus and a grant from a US based philanthropist, Juliana started supporting girls to establish income generating project to help them raise money for school fees. As she uncovered more and more challenges for girls, more partners came on board. Through the help of an organisation called MyPads, Juliana worked with girls from Makonde and Mbare Districts, teaching them how to make their own reusable sanitary pads. This was a well received initiative which was later adopted by the government and more and more organisations have since adopted that approach to help girls in rural areas.
True to her pioneering spirit, Juliana continued to establish a Girls Hub Scholarship which has assisted over 300 girls since 2013. In September 2014, Juliana Kariri launched the Girls Want to Learn Campaign to mobilise resources to assist under privileged girls raise school fees for their education. The campaign managed to raise over US15 000 which in turn assisted 25 girls to go through secondary education with some of them getting into University.
In 2015, the Foundation expanded its work to focus on broad empowerment through training for girls in essential schools. In this effort, a number of corporates came on board and in 2015, Juliana opened the Girls Hub Training Centre to offer a set of essential skills to girls from underprivileged backgrounds. The Girls Hub Training Centre (the Centre) is girls only centre for learning and entrepreneurial growth. Located at Number 4477 Tynwald Drive, Matidoda Park, the Centre opened its doors to the pioneer group on 8 February 2016.
Besides her work with the Hub, Juliana is a loving mum to a lovely daughter. She believes there is a better world for all girls in Africa and beyond. That belief gives her energy to continue motivating the world to invest in girls.
As a young Pan-African female aspiring to influence others towards attaining peace and security in Africa, Muneinazvo prides herself in her work on putting African youth can be at the core of initiatives that build the continent. Having found her feet through the African Youth and Governance Initiative in Accra, Ghana in 2012, she has dedicated her career to conducting informed research in all 5 regions of the continent.
Her research ranges from work on the #FeesMustFall movement, highlighting the violence within the protests that culminated into the #RapeMustFall movement to authoring gender sensitive pieces such a women’s participation in Liberian politics. Muneinazvo believes that as she builds on her writing, more policy makers will be influenced to make changes that benefit young women like herself in the modern African society. Muneinazvo is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies with the University of KwaZulu-Natal whilst working with the Institute for Security Studies on human security issues affecting African Youth.