Advance Women's Leadership

Featured Women Dreamer: Doreen, Bridging Parents and Children to Support Adolescents in Kasese District, Uganda

Wairimu Mwangi
March 8, 2024

Doreen knows, a dream is a spark that needs at least one other, to catch on for it to spread.

The guidance of a mother and father figure during the passage from childhood into adolescence and adulthood grounds this dramatic period of emotional, mental, and character growth and self-discovery. Doreen Ainemababazi observed a lack of parental involvement, particularly in this critical period for the youth in Kasese District in her home country of Uganda.

Doreen had a dream – to fill that gap, to impart parental wisdom and strengthen families so that the youth of Kasese District could be supported on their journey to becoming men and women. Particularly, Doreen wanted to embrace the young, single mothers of Kasese and help them feel hope for the future.

In 2023, with the support of Global Peace Women, Doreen set out to bring her dream into substance. She rallied a network of partners: educators, social workers, midwives and community leaders to launch a three-month program to support the youth of Kasese on their journey through adolescence and young adulthood, by strengthening family bonds, providing parental guidance and opportunities for livelihood training.

Doreen has been associated with Global Peace Women since 2022. Global Peace Women and its coalition of individuals and organizations are advancing a vision-driven approach to peacebuilding that engages women and families, acknowledging their critical role as agents of peace and development. Through programs like the Global Peace Women Leadership Academy, Global Women Dream Grant, and yearly enrichment and knowledge-sharing conferences and workshops, Global Peace Women works to empower families, starting with service-minded women.

However, when Doreen started off, only one young mother responded, Masika. But, one was all Doreen needed to begin. Doreen poured herself into Masika, listening, counseling, and teaching her how to become a beautician. Masika became an ambassador, drawing in other mothers. By the end of the three-month program, 20 mothers received the same counseling, education, and livelihood training and support.

Doreen and her partners also extended their guidance to the students of Ebenezer Secondary School, around 184 boys and girls, facilitating candid discussions on life planning, relationships, health, marriage, family and pregnancy.

Doreen’s spark – her care for the youth and mothers in Kasese – started with one and reached hundreds.

Three months later, another part of Doreen’s dream has come true. Masika has reconciled with her family and is now building her life as a mother and hairdresser.

Doreen’s growth journey shows us, when a dream is big, sometimes it starts off slow, but with determination and love, it takes just one to start to bring the dream to life.