“Twenty years from now, I see Different Better with A Purpose reaching out and Impacting more and more lives of women and more so the girl child and having a teen mothers service center that will help equip them with life skills.” – Irene Nakitende
On Youths for Change, Women Inspiring Women, and the Mindset of the masses
Hello reader, as usual, Thursdays are the day on which we present to you features on super youths in Uganda, Africa, and all over the world making moves in the fields of entrepreneurship, community/sustainable development. And we want these super youths to inspire you, while they also get inspired and empowered. So here we are once again; on super Youth, Ms. Irene Nakitende
Irene Nakitende is a Ugandan, twenty-two-year-old, currently residing in the United States of America. Irene is also the founder of Different Better with a Purpose, an organization whose objective is to positively serve local communities in Uganda.
In a mini discussion with her, check out what Irene got to say about her organization, youths for change, women inspiring women, and changing of people’s mindsets.
What inspired you to start your organization, when did you start the organization
𝑫𝒊𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒓𝒆nt b𝒆𝒕𝒕𝒆 w𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝑨 𝑷𝒖𝒓𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒆 was and still is my passion to serve the community. I was helped by a numerable number of people that believe that an act of kindness and love can change someone’s heart for a lifetime.
My mama and late dad (The 𝐌𝐮𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐰𝐚𝐬) discovered a special gift in me that was at the age of 9 and they supported my ministry then (kids’ ministry.) I may not owe any of these people anything but my heart is indebted for their character and for giving me a chance.; However, as I grew older, I wanted to impact someone but I didn’t know how I was going to. So, I joined the peer educators academy with ‘Reach A Hand Uganda’ I was one of the youngest and yet one of the best performers. After the academy, I remember I was very nervous to share with my parents as I had asked them.
What inspired the name of the organization?
The name Different Better with a Purpose was inspired by how different people, from different parts of the world, background and different levels of education could come together for a similar humanity cause.
By running this Initiative, Irene reveals that some of the challenges she has faced include;
- Being unable to reach as many people as possible due to a strain on the funding.
- Stereotypes and a different understanding in the community which often makes the initiative’s tasks a little harder to be fulfilled
- Less cooperation in the community
- People are very overly expectant sometimes; a factor Irene says tears out the mission. This often makes it really had to bring the message out as one may desire to.
- Collaboration with another group or organization may call upon a leader to define clearly the boundaries within which he can operate and balance the needs of his own group with those of the collaborative initiative as a whole.
What keeps you going despite the setbacks or challenges?
I believe this is my calling from God. Knowing that I am not alone in this, but with the strong team, family, and friends.
Young people are super hungry and ready to serve. When I feel low or I’m losing hope. I remember the visible and invisible people that I inspire; those that have confronted me or not, those that keep my Brian spinning. Also, we are blessed today as so many of our fellows (young people) are crying out for the government to create jobs for them, some of them are like ‘No way I’m better than that’. Let’s take a kin look at some of them like Ms. Josephine Kemigisha of Living Smiles busy serving the community, Ms. Peace Primer of Nile Girls, and Ms.Achen Monica busy working with UNFPA. This keeps me going knowing that we are in Charge and lead for this change.
On what word she has for the youth aspiring for change, Irene advises;
- 𝐁𝐞 𝐂𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞
We try to think “outside the box,” i.e. in unexpected but effective ways. If disaster has struck (you’ve just lost a major source of funding, perhaps) how can you turn what looks like the end of the world into a new beginning? Don’t just look at the obvious, but consider a situation from all perspectives, and search for unusual ways to make things work.
- Look For Opportunities to collaborate
This is important both within and outside for both personal and organizational growth. For example, Within a collaborating group, We should involve as many young people as possible in decisions, and make sure they have control over what they do. The more they own their jobs and the organization, the more enthusiastic they’ll be- the more effective the organization will be, and the more effective they will be as leaders.
Ms. Irene, if there is one thing you’d like to change about the world now, what would it be?
I would like to change the Sick mindset of people. Anything good or bad starts from the mind.
“When your mind starts to control you, your mindset becomes sick. This world is suffering because of such kind of people. Whatever bad is happening in this world like terrorism, wars, jealousy, murders, violence, etc. are a result of sick mentality. When their mentality changes, the world will become the happiest place in the universe.” – Irene
As a young lady, what advice or word of encouragement would you have for other women out there?
- Support each other. It doesn’t matter how small the journey or achievement is. Let’s cheer up for each other.
- To the woman reading this, remember how smart you are. A friend told me this. It was a great reminder that there’s a reason I’ve come so far and accomplished so much and still, I am and you should have faith in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals. Thank you to Tibba Murungi Kabugu for this reminder and support.
Since the establishment of ‘Different better with a purpose’, the organization has had numerous achievements which include;
- Having hosted and worked with international beauty queens
- Miss Liberian 2016-2017 (Miss Wokie Dolo)
- Miss Uganda North America 2017, 2018, 2019 ( Miss Yvonne Kushemererwa, Miss Shalom Aburu and Miss Vannesa Nansamba)
- Miss Uganda UK ( Miss Jan Nakitende Mukibi
2. The organization has reached over thousands of women and girls, those reached have been taught how to make reusable sanitary pads in over 24 communities.
3. ‘Different Better with a Purpose’ has also been recognized and awarded for the services rendered to local communities. In addition, they have been featured in Newspapers and had TV appearances.
Thanks for visiting the ‘Lunkuse Initiative Platform’ once again; where entrepreneurs and friends come to get inspired. Did you read the previous blog on Say-Manda? How about one for Ann the Ambassador and face for gobs foundation? I bet not. Alright, click here to pick read of your choice~! Enjoy.