On the 15th of June I was announced as the MILEAD fellow2015. It was in the morning when I got an email informing me that I was selected as one of the most emerging young African women leaders. I didn’t believe my eyes when I read this email because I had waited for so long for this response from the Moremi imitative. I always told myself that I deserve this opportunity and always asked God to make it possible for me to be part of this program. So on this day I got so excited and could not believe it. I believed in myself the more and felt confident about myself.
As the days went by, I received an email with my ticket to Ghana from Moremi so the long awaited day came and I had to travel to Ghana. what got me so excited was when the other 26 girls started to arrive I felt that it was real. We were to reside at the University of Legon Ghana
The next morning Saturday we had our orientation, introduced ourselves together with Moremi Team the and then we had dinner. Sunday was our opening ceremony where we had different people strong and influential women. The ceremony went well and in the evening we started our personal presentations. This was a good experience because it gave us room to know each other beyond our names and the countries we come from. It gave me an understanding on the importance of women in the development of Africa and the world at Large. So in The innocent league the Organisation am working with, I will empower the young women am working with to be positive about their capabilities and understand their role in developing Africa and Uganda at large.
In the first week we had sessions that really opened my mind widely in terms of equality and human rights where I got to know that all human beings are born equal but we become different because of the different socializations and life conditions we encounter in our lives where some people get diseases, disabilities rich, poor and many more which bring differences in human beings. We also had a session about Pan Africanism which was a term that I always heard but never understood we discussed things like the African Union and identifying some of the African problems where we found some being poor governance, poverty, poor mindset of people, Education, ignorance and many others. And The Innocent League will work towards addressing some of these problems
I also got enlightened on the term feminism which interested me a lot because of its concepts. I also got to know that it is a very good term and in my own understanding I have come to define feminism as having equal rights and opportunities between men and women and it calls for mutual support for both men and women though it’s a woman cause and championed by women
The whole idea of elevator pitches was so great. We were given small papers that had names of different personalities and we were asked to get into pairs where one personal was to pick a paper and acts or role plays the person whose name is written in that paper and guess who I picked, Oprah Winfrey one my role models and the other person was to do an elevator pitch to Oprah who was me in this case. I felt speechless stepping in Oprah’s shoes but it challenged me a lot because I had to ask myself if I was worth role-playing Oprah because she is such a success and inspiring woman. So I also commit myself to work hard and be a successful woman
Writing skills were so great especially when we learned many writing skills and types and the whole issue of just drawing our life journey more like dreams was also good because it helped me know that their so many ways one can express herself not necessary writing but putting your expression in drawing
This opportunity has really shown me the importance of team building and team work and the all idea of sisterhood.
We also did our Michange projects and these are projects that we committed to work on after the three week summit in Ghana. We are to implement these projects when we go back to our countries as a way of impacting on our communities. And my Michange project is the Infected and affected campaign one of the six campaigns in The innocent League Uganda.
We had a lot more other educative session like on time management, domestic violence, entrepreneurship, project planning, ending child marriage and many others. We also had a summit where I was one of the panelists the summit was about sexual reproductive health and rights of young people and I spoke in regard about SRHR in regard to young people living with HIV. We also had another dialogue about ending child marriage where we had a number of panelists this dialogue also
We also visited many places like the World Bank in Ghana where I got to know about what the World Bank. It is such an amazing place to be I learnt a lot
I thank the Moremi Intitiative for such a great opportunity they gave me. Take this opportunity to thank Mawuli Dake one of the amazing men I have met in my life I was very inspired by you Mawuli. Thank you Mame Afon your such an inspiring feminist and African Woman. Lastly thank my 26 sisters MILEAD Fellows 2015
Ms. Refilwe Kerekang [Botswana], Ms. Véronique A. Tonoukouen [Benin], Ms. Erica Matasi Gateka [Burundi], Ms. Monique Tangah Kwachou [Cameroon], Ms. Betel Bekele Birhanu [Ethiopia], Ms. Haddy Jonga [Gambia], Ms. Baaba Gyakyewa Jackson [Ghana], Ms. Edem Doreen Asimadu [Ghana], Ms. Stephanie Musho Agengo [Kenya], Ms. Sianeh Farwenee [Liberia/ Mozambique], Ms. Marriam Lally [Malawi], Ms. Chilera Chifundo [Malawi], Ms. Agaichatou Dicko [Mali], Ms. Mary Temiloluwa Ajayi [Nigeria], Ms. Zeinabou Moussa Kaka [Niger], Ms. Davephine Tholley [Sierra Leone], Ms. Elizabeth Achu Jervase [South Sudan], Ms. Canthar May Ntuli [South Africa], Ms. Rowan Faisal [Sudan], Ms. Dorothy Mrema [Tanzania], Ms. Bumba Malambo [Zambia], Ms. Florence Takaedesa [USA/Zimbabwe], Ms. Mary C. Namagambe [Denmark/ Uganda],Ms. Monica Habia- [Ghana/USA] I love you sisters so much and you will forever be in my heart.
I can’t foget the Moremi Volunteers and interns for the love and support you showed me.
I have really had un told experience in the Moremi Initiative as a MILEAD Fellow 2015 I have found out that Africa is rich when I met the 26 emerging young African women leaders, I loved Africa the more and I believe that As Africans, we have the power and capacity to change our Africa. Many times we are associated with diseases, poverty, illiteracy and ignorance but I have come understand that these things don’t define our Africa. Africa as got its past and its present but the advantage we have is that Africa has got a spotless future there is nothing written on Africa’s future that’s why We Africans should start painting the future of our Africa. There are many good things and good people in Africa a lot is happening in Africa besides diseases, poverty, illiteracy and ignorance. Many times people say that “Africa is the land of beauty” As Africans, let’s find the beauty in Africa, let’s define our Africa.
By Nansumba Winnie
MOREMI INITIATIVE ANNOUNCES 2015 MILEAD FELLOWS
Uganda’s Winnie Nansunmba named among Africa’s Most Outstanding Emerging Women Leaders
Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa proudly announces the 2015 MILEAD (Moremi Initiative Leadership and Empowerment Development) Fellows. This new cohort of MILEAD Fellows represent Africa’s most promising young women leaders with the courage and commitment to lead and shape the future of Africa. The Fellows were chosen through a highly competitive selection process and criteria based on their outstanding leadership promise, community service accomplishments, and commitment to the advancement of women in Africa.
Ms Winnie Nansumba’s selection is in recognition of her outstanding work as a leader and activist especially for young people living with HIV/AIDS. Winnie founded the “Innocent League” and has led her team to implement five campaigns raising awareness on the different facets of HIV/AIDS. In working with youth, her organization shares stories of hope and resilience through personal experiences. Approximately 1200 young people from four Primary schools in Makindye Division of Kampala have benefited from the work of the Innocent League. Winnie also works with Reach a Hand Uganda as a Peer educator. She is a member and alumna of Bavubuka Dynasty and Merita Movement. In 2010, she gave a keynote address sharing her personal story as a young woman born with HIV/AIDS at the “International Conference on Sexuality Under 18”, organized by World Population Foundation and Rutgers Nisso Groep, Netherlands. Her presentation on improvement of sexual reproductive health and rights of ‘young positives” has been added to the curriculum for secondary schools in Uganda known as “the World Starts With Me”. Since 2008, she has been part of the team of Reproductive Health Uganda and RutgersWPF, Netherlands, piloting a curriculum on SRHR for “young positives” in Kampala, Bujiri, Tororo, Iganga and Jinja.
THE 2015 MILEAD FELLOWS
The 2015 MILEAD Fellows represent a truly Pan-African diversity. Representing twenty-four African countries and the Diaspora, the 2015 Fellows bring highly diverse socio-political backgrounds combined with multi-disciplinary academic and professional experiences and aspirations. The Fellows are between the ages of 19 and 25, but are already actively leading change on pertinent issues at all levels- from entrepreneurship, economic justice and women’s health, to political participation, environmental innovations and gender justice. They are a new generation of African women leaders ready to provide the bold and inspirational leadership needed to lift Africa to its rightful place on the global stage. Here are the honoured 2015 Fellows:
Ms. Yasmine Bouguerche [Algeria/ Egypt]
Ms. Refilwe Kerekang [Botswana]
Ms. Véronique A. Tonoukouen [Benin]
Ms. Erica Matasi Gateka [Burundi]
Ms. Monique Tangah Kwachou [Cameroon]
Ms. Betel Bekele Birhanu [Ethiopia]
Ms. Haddy Jonga [Gambia]
Ms. Baaba Gyakyewa Jackson [Ghana]
Ms. Edem Doreen Asimadu [Ghana]
Ms. Stephanie Musho Agengo [Kenya]
Ms. Sianeh Farwenee [Liberia/ Mozambique]
Ms. Marriam Lally [Malawi]
Ms. Chilera Chifundo [Malawi]
Ms. Agaichatou Dicko [Mali]
Ms. Mary Temiloluwa Ajayi [Nigeria]
Ms. Zeinabou Moussa Kaka [Niger]
Ms. Davephine Tholley [Sierra Leone]
Ms. Elizabeth Achu Jervase [South Sudan]
Ms. Canthar May Ntuli [South Africa]
Ms. Rowan Faisal [Sudan]
Ms. Dorothy Mrema [Tanzania]
Ms. Winnie Nansumba [Uganda]
Ms. Bumba Malambo [Zambia]
Ms. Florence Takaedesa [USA/Zimbabwe]
Ms. Mary C. Namagambe [Denmark/ Uganda]
Ms. Monica Habia- [Ghana/USA]
From over 3,020 applications from 44 countries, the newly selected Fellows will become part of the growing MILEAD community of a powerful Pan-African network of change makers- a new generation of young African leaders. We acknowledge all the unsuccessful applicants for their transformational work and sacrifices, often under extremely difficult circumstances. Although only 26 candidates could be selected, we truly admire the courage and commitment of all of these leaders. We look forward to collaborating with all applicants through other platforms and future programs as we strive to create opportunities and attain dignity and justice for women on our great continent.
THE 2015 MILEAD FELLOWS INSTITUTE
The MILEAD Fellows will converge in Accra, Ghana to kick-start the 2015 MILEAD Leadership Institute- a three-week intensive training program- which will be hosted by the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon. The Institute will serve as a platform for Fellows to cross-examine concepts of leadership in a broad African context, cultivate the skills and experiences necessary to occupy and excel in leadership positions, and gain knowledge on cutting-edge issues critical to African women and their communities. In addition to knowledge building lectures, skills-training workshops, teambuilding activities, role plays and other interactive activities, Fellows will be mentored by experienced and accomplished women leaders who are committed to supporting and nurturing the next generation of African women leaders.
ABOUT THE MILEAD FELLOWS PROGRAM
The MILEAD Fellows Program is a uniquely designed initiative committed to the long-term leadership development and promotion of Africa’s most promising young women leaders. Fellows go through a yearlong training and mentoring program, designed to build skills, strengthen networks, and support women’s leadership on critical issues. Over the course of the year, the selected Fellows progress through three phases. The first identifies and prepares Fellows through leadership development, networking, mentoring, and training. The second promotes the visibility and accomplishments of Fellows through media coverage and networking. The third phase supports Fellows through career planning, management, and access to opportunities and resources. Each Fellow will initiate and lead a community change (MiCHANGE) project on a critical issue of importance to their community or African women as a whole. Moreover, Fellows will benefit from a lifelong solidarity and support through the MILEAD Network.
ABOUT MOREMI INITIATIVE
Founded in 2004, The Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa strives to engage, inspire, and equip young women and girls to become the next generation of leading politicians, activists, social entrepreneurs, and change agents- leaders who can transform and change institutions that legitimize and perpetuate injustices and discrimination against women. We firmly believe that the full and active participation of women in leadership is a pre-requisite for positive change and development in Africa, and addresses the current problem of leadership imbalances. With offices in Ghana and the United States and operating across Africa, Moremi engages, inspires and equips a new generation of African women leaders.
Infected and Affected Campaign
This aims at the HIV positive and negative young people where each one of these is to be brought on board for support of one another
This is a core campaign of the innocent league where we will put our main emphasis. It is the main reason for the innocent league. We want all young people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS to be well conversant with this campaign.
This campaign is about bringing infected and affected young people together in schools to help them take own responsibilities as regards to HIV/AIDS it’s about painting the other side of HIV . Its aiming at a stigma free school (an HIV friendly school). Where the school administration, parents and students themselves are in agreement to eliminate what HIV has been painted for a longest time
This campaign is a call for unity affected and infected we have a significant role to play in this HIV/AIDS scourge and provide the best environment to people living with HIV/AIDS
It’s also involves young negatives and understand positive living showing them what it takes to be positive so they understand what young positives go through
We should bring parents, teachers on board so we start from the grass roots and we should get ambassadors out of students the ones gear the campaign
This is a movement that aims at helping and empowering the infected and affected young people to deal with life challenges as a way of being responsible citizens and contribute to a stigma and discrimination free generation.
The Innocent League is an HIV/AIDS service project/ organization in Uganda founded in 2013 by a young positive Nansumba Winnie and 8 other colleagues. Its foundation was based on young people both infected and affected that were united by common experiences faced when encountering HIV/AIDS more especially in school were the young people socialize with each other in the age of stigma, poor adherence, poverty and the HIV/AIDS knowledge gap amongest young people.