Advance Women's Leadership

Blossoming Hope: Namata Mariam’s Journey of Fostering Change through Women’s Economic Empowerment in Ssumba Village, Uganda

Wairimu Mwangi
April 22, 2024

Women play a significant role in peacebuilding and promoting change, often at the grassroots level, where they use their ability to unite communities together and promote peace. Their unique perspectives and experiences offer valuable insights into addressing the root causes of communal challenges, and driving sustainable change.

Notably, Mariam spearheaded the successful implementation of the “Healing Adolescent/Pregnant Girls” project in the heart of Ssumba cell, nestled within Kyengera Town Council, Wakiso District, Uganda, providing vital life skills training to address the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic-related-violence. Leading the project on expanding and sustaining the healing of adolescent pregnant girls from trauma due to COVID-19 violence and their families through increased income generation and skills training, Mariam's vision unfolded over the course of two impactful months, spanning from July to August 2023.

She guided a cohort of 30 vulnerable women household heads and 30 adolescent girls/mothers who had to leave school due to COVID-19 disruptions, and witnessed a remarkable transformation unfold.

"I felt extremely happy as a service-minded woman, empowering more and more women from my community," she recounted.

Mariam's project exemplified the GPW ethos of service-mindedness, strengthening families, and uplifting women's value and dignity. By equipping vulnerable women with skills in commercial vegetable growing, she fostered economic empowerment within her community. These women, previously overlooked, now stood as pillars of self-reliance, earning sustained incomes through their newfound expertise.

Mariam's initiative not only provided economic stability but also instilled a sense of belonging and unity among participants. Through a savings scheme and communal support, these women shared experiences, offered advice, and embraced a newfound hope for the future. In the midst of adversity, her project stood as a beacon of hope, inspiring women to reclaim their agency, nurture their families, and uplift their communities.

Empowered by GPW's values of teamwork, service beyond self, and visionary thinking, Mariam has navigated challenges with resilience and innovation. Her dedication extends beyond project implementation to fostering enduring change, evident in more of her community empowerment initiatives promoting financial literacy, sustainable agriculture, and HIV/AIDS education among vulnerable communities. As she embarks on her next endeavors, including projects aimed at enhancing household incomes and fostering peaceful communities, Mariam remains steadfast in her belief that sustainable peace begins with empowered individuals and thriving communities.