The Uganda National NGO Forum (UNNGOF) in partnership with National Association of Women Organizations in Uganda (NAWOU) conducted a Women Leaders fellowship in Mbale District. This was attended by over 27 women leaders from six districts i.e. Kibuku, Pallisa, Namutumba, Bugiri, Budaka and Mbale.
While speaking at the two day fellowship, held from 17th to 18th November 2014 at Shine-On Hotel in Mbale Town, Hon Idah Mehangye, the Women Mentor and Board Member UNNGOF, reminded women that they are leaders right from home. She encouraged women to appreciate their achievements, no matter how small, other than lamenting. She urged them to be appreciative of each other.
“For every nice step that a woman takes, appreciate them; this will always encourage them,” said Hon. Mehangye, “in addition, men too need to be appreciated since they are household heads and will add lots of value in making the women’s fellowhip a success once they come on board.”
The women’ programme is designed to bring together women in their diversity drawn from NGOs, Faith based Organizations, private sector and academia to share, reflect and generate concrete strategies for effective leadership.
Speaking as the Chief Guest, Ms. Jennifer Gamisha, Deputy Mayor for Mbale Municipality emphasized that women are moulded leaders from the homes because they manage children, husbands, and assets. She inspired women with her personal 10 year leadership journey where she started as secretary for women at LC I committee, Women Representative Municipal level and thereafter entrusted with Deputy Mayor, a position she values a lot. She challenged women to be exemplary and avoid selfishness because this enhances knowledge sharing and nurturing, thus transforming their homes and communities.
She appreciated UNNGOF for the platform where women will meet to generate knowledge and strategies for self-development and for regularly awakening NGOs to serve their people.
“Don’t be comfortable where you are, come up, rise up and cause change in your homes, groups, churches and communities,” added Ms. Jennifer Gamisha.
During the discussions, participants agreed to remain focused, determined and avoid selfishness to which one illustrated using the idea of musical instruments that produce different sound while synching to bring out beautiful music. Participants also pointed out the importance of trust in a community as a key to enabling people be elevated to different positions in the community. The women purposed to be aggressive and avoiding lamentations because the world needs results and not reasons.
Moving forward, women leaders resolved to mobilize more women and sensitize them on the need to take up leadership roles in their communities as well as identify their strengths that can help transform themselves into great leaders. The Women Leaders Fellowship program was enthusiastically welcomed because it focuses on identifying those attributes and values a woman can build on to leave a great legacy as community leaders.