Hannah Owot - Former Board Member of Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited (UWEAL) - kicked off today's Women's Economic Empowerment conference at the Ugandan Museum with an uplifting presentation. It was the start of an interactive conference with many inspiring speeches. Hanna mentioned that...
"If women are not educated they can't do anything, if they are educated they can do everything."
Nelly Ssali - the CEO of Makika Stylz and member of UWEAL - followed up with her story. Among many other things, she spoke about the importance of sharing knowledge and experience, and about her work.
"We use gifted hands and creative spirits to create unique handmade products. Our passion is to work with disadvantaged women and youths, especially young single mothers. We empower them economically, socially and spiritually to help them open doors."
This highlights only a part of the importance of social enterprises in Uganda, led by strong women like Nelly. Sangha and Mercy, two of our volunteers, have been supporting Nelly and her creative enterprise in Kampala during the last couple of months.
"When I grew up, I found that men did not consult women. Women at home cook. They look after children. But we said no. We know you are our husbands. But allow us to do something. This is why I am questioning you all now.
In your village, don't think that the women who haven't gone to school don't have anything to give. Talk to them, invite them to meetings, assist them. If we do not assist them, who will? Our eyes are open. But their eyes are not. We need to support and stand by our sisters.
For those who are lucky to be educated, you are the eyes for those who are unable to go to school. Let's build on our networks, let's use this meeting as a platform to continue to work together and empower each other."
"Mothers. Daughters. All women everywhere. Stand and embrace your roles today!"we sang, led by Joy Mukisa - Executive Director of CEWIGO (Centre For Women In Governance) - who started her presentation by getting everyone up on their feet to sing the Uganda Women's Anthem. Singing is a must-do on conferences in Uganda.
Joy Mukisa led two presentatios today which were very useful for the attandees. It was about proposal writing.
We ended the conference with a raffle consisting of donations from the social enterprises Challenges Worldwide is working with in Uganda. Among the prizes were T-shirts from Tugende, aprons from Makika Stylz, recycled glasses from Good Glass, peanut butter from PAM Peanut Butter, jewellery from Mzuribeads, honey from Yellow STAR FOODS Uganda, recycled straw bags from Kinawataka, roasted coffee from My Checkmate, hibiscus from Hibiscus Links, mushroom wine from Awamu, and recycled sugar cane bags from MangoMarket. Proceeds from the raffle will be given to a Women's Health charity in Uganda.
A big thank you to all the businesses for their generous contributions for the raffle, to the guests to have joined us today, to the Ugandan Museum to have hosted us with much attention to detail, to both ICS and Challenges Worldwide for having made this conference possible and last but not least I want to hugely thank the speakers for their incredible speeches. #womenunite #empowerwomen #socialenterprise #empowerment #girlpower #inspiring #Uganda
Watch the conference video:
There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women - Kofi Annan