INTERVIEW WITH Bwambale Rwamanyonyi
(CEO of Gift Women Link Foundation )
“WOMEN EMPOWERMENT THROUGH SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS – A REAL STORY FROM UGANDA”
In the context of socio-economic development, the “Women Empowerment” is one of the most discussing words in the world. Women empowerment is important for increasing the quality of all aspects in life. Without this, one society or nation unable to move forward because women are important part of human society. They are daughters, wife and mothers and there are lot of women is away from school and education. They have no good job or income. Some women are working women, but others are housewife. Women are more vulnerable to nutrient deficiency related diseases. They are always vulnerable to different types mental or physical harassment. Especially, the women from marginalized populations are more vulnerable to such activities globally. Globally, a highest percentage of women are facing discrimination in right to education. So that the women empowerment is very important to the safety and protection of women from all such problems. It also helps to fight against the spread of HIV & AIDS. Educating the girls and women is an important step in overcoming poverty. The 2018 Women's Empowerment Principles Forum had conducted a programme in ECOSOC Chamber, UN Headquarters in New York. The UN Women’s Empowerment Principles states that the “Equality Means Business”.
UN Women and the United Nations Global Compact designed to support companies in reviewing existing policies and practices or establishing new ones to realize women's empowerment. According to UN Women, the eempowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies. Besides these, the women empowerment in all sectors is essential to build a stronger economies of a family and a country. It will helpful to achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities. More than 1809 business leaders around the world have demonstrated leadership on gender equality through the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs). Based on this principle, the role of “Gift Women Link Foundation” is very important and helps to empowerment of women in a marginalized society through a sustainable way of business projects. The GWLF have a successful business story in the past and it is doing good works for women in health care, education agriculture, Vocational services, HIV/AIDS, life skills and community development with a focus on poverty alleviation, economic empowerment in Kasese region, Uganda. According to website of GWLF, the foundation is a compact team of women having tremendous vigor to overcome the socio-cultural, economic and political barriers for overall positive change for humanity.
This interview was made and published in March 2018 on www.lteconomy.org
Subject: Women empowerment through sustainable business in Uganda
This interview was made by:
Geetha Plackal (Long Term Economy collaborator and CO-Chair of Exe.Board GGA, India)
Thanks go to Dario Ruggiero (Founder of Long Term Economy, GGA, Italy) in the elaboration of the questions.
- Close to 70% of fisheries around the world are in some kind of trouble for various reasons.
- The establishment of the Gift Women Link Foundation (GWLF) in 2008 as a charitable was to address women constraints and empowering women.
- The first strategic plan (2008- 2013) had been endorsed.
- The second strategic plan (2015-2020) has also been prepared and started implementation of the planned programs to contribute for the overall efforts of ensuring Health, food, livelihood and environmental security that realizes sustainable development and social transformation in Kasese region.
- Empowering poor communities and their organizations in Kasese to achieve livelihoods and environmental security and strives to realize its missions through food security and agricultural development, water resources development and hygiene- sanitation promotion, forest resource development and environmental protection programs.
- Foundation population main targets include: Women, PWD, PLWHA, farmers and children. (all living under had condition.
- Capacity building program: Youth empowerment project is launched that has youth vocational and technical business skills on how to manage business in conjunction with Act Women Foundation Kasese.
- The foundation has launched its website www.giftwomenlink.com successfully and its in operation for international connections and information dissemination to our international community.
1. Question: Dear Bwambale Rwamanyonyi, CEO of Gift Women Link Foundation welcome to the interview. First up all, let us to know about you and your charity in Uganda. Could you give us a short-description of GWLF?
I Am Bwambale Rwamanyonyi from Kasese Uganda working with Gift Women Link Foundation with the following responsibilities assigned includes; 1. Incharge of foundation Leadership. 2. Foundation Operational planning and management 3. Foundation projects, Program planning and management 4. Human resources planning and management 5. Financial planning and management 6. Community relations/advocacy 7. Strategic planning and Fundraising management 8. Risk management.
Gift Women Link Foundation (GWLF) established in 2008 as a charitable, Women based, non-governmental and not for profit making organization. The establishment of this foundation was to address women constraints and empowering women through innovative approaches in areas of Microcredit services, education, reproductive and child health, ICT, health, human rights, agriculture, Vocational services, HIV/AIDS, life skills and community development with a focus on poverty alleviation, economic empowerment and establishing a society where women and girls live happy, healthy, educated and free from all forms of violence under a conserved community.
2. Question: You know “Sustainability” is a powerful term in the context of socio-cultural and economic development. What is the role of GWLF in terms of full-spectrum sustainability (ecological, social and economic)?
In 2012, GWLF registered as a local, women based, non-governmental organization (NGO) and until 2015 continued its work mainly focusing on extending its previous vocational services integrated with health care and technological activities. Due to growing and immense community demands for its services, and presence of enabling government policies and donors support, the need to avail strategic documents and making a strategic shift in organizations' approach has become indispensable. For these reasons, the first strategic plan (2008- 2013) had been endorsed. Details are found at www.giftwomenlink.com
The second strategic plan (2015-2020) has also been prepared and started implementation of the planned programs to contribute for the overall efforts of ensuring Health, food, livelihood and environmental security that realizes sustainable development and social transformation in Kasese region especially to the areas around the national parks of Uganda. GWLF envisions poverty free people of Kasese region, Uganda. Its strategic missions are: Empowering poor communities and their organizations in Kasese to achieve livelihoods and environmental security and strives to realize its missions through food security and agricultural development, water resources development and hygiene- sanitation promotion, forest resource development and environmental protection programs and mainstreaming of cross cutting issues such as capacity development, gender, HIV/AIDS and Harm full traditional practices as a means of attaining sustainable development.
3. Question: What are your mission and main activities?
Empower women in rural communities from grass root through active participation for sustainable development.
To ensure Development excellence in technical sustainable and technology services for self-reliance of women in rural communities Kasese District.
The foundation thematic areas/activities are as below;
I. Environmental conservation.
II. Vocational education
VII. Sustainable agriculture.
VIII. Savings and credit
IX. Human rights advocacy
X. Childhood development
4. Question: Which are the target population of GFLF? Is it made any achievements for people in past years?
The foundation main target population includes; Women, PWD, PLWHA, farmers and children. (all living under had condition).
a) Health Facility: Currently GWLF implementing health care services, education programs, HIV/AIDS prevention, malaria control. Immunization, emergency cases, laboratory services and also we provide care and support for most vulnerable children living in risky environment in Kasese and kabarole districts. These services are fully accessed at our newly constructed health Clinic in Kabonero Sub County.
b) Girls in ICT Project For its best success in the lives of poor girls, GWLF won the “2017 Global Girls in ICT fund from International Telecommunication Union and through partnership with some other organizations like African Ark College of Management Sciences, Tools With A mission UK, Global Good Deeds, Giving Way Volunteer Network, the foundation has trained 132 participants in different skill development for the future.
c) Women Vocational Skills Empowerment Project: To reduce youth poverty in Kasese municipality we already introduced tailoring project in which most youth and those most vulnerable children are undertaking secretarial, embroidery, arts and design skills, and tailoring training including promotion of manufactured clothing fashion marketing products.
d) This project was funded by Tools With A mission UK Within this project the GWLF is involved in capacity building of rural poor women and youth group and we need extension of vocational services and startup capital or Revolving fund to them also.
e) Capacity building program
1) Youth empowerment project is launched that has youth vocational and technical business skills on how to manage business in conjunction with Act Women Foundation Kasese.
2) Training on computer maintenance and repair, electronics equipment’s repair, Graphic design (adobe illustrator, adobe Photoshop, publisher and cover of books design) with African Ark College of management sciences.
3) More than 20 GWLF members were organized
4) 24hr Community health education and healthcare services accessibility at our newly health outreach Centre.
5) 2 community mobilization workshops were conducted.
6) Vocational skills training for orphans and vulnerable youth (carpentry, metal fabrication, welding, tailoring and carpentry).
7) Community development activities (ICT).
5. Question: What are the major projects of GWLF for women empowerment?
The health facility project, Girls in ICT project and Eco crafting for social change.
6. Question: Does GWLF have any international collaboration and branches?
The foundation has obtained partnerships with different volunteers in India, Italy, and Colombia these volunteers are managed by Shreshtha Verma as Overseas Director and Dr. Malik Khalid Mehmood and Dr. KM George as our Chief Technical International Advisors.
There are several volunteers in different countries working tiresomely for Gift Women Link Foundation Projects Assigned for collaborations and they will appear on the website as soon as possible.
The foundation has launched its website www.giftwomenlink.com successfully and its in operation for international connections and information dissemination to our international community. However we have not yet got any donations or committed donor and the foundation Board of Directors takes control and financing the activities now. This gives us a more limited capacity to implement and develop the regions as a means of attaining sustainable development.
7. Question: What are GWLF’s future projects? How can we support them (financially and physically)??
Due to GWLF strategic partnerships, committed Board members, volunteers and experience in implementing projects, the foundation aims at expanding its services across regions and internationally. This will be also verified by strong partnership with Long Term Economy and Donors.
8. Question: Do you believe the GWLF brings a change in sustainable development of marginal population?
Basing on the already implemented projects, experience and dynamic situational adaptations. Gift Women Link Foundation brings and will always bring changes in the lives of marginal population. www.giftwomenlink.com
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