“Uganda is one of the countries with the highest early and forced marriage rates, 10% of girls are married off before the age of 15 and 40% before they are 18, several efforts are being made towards ending child marriage and teenage pregnancies. The girl child in Uganda faces several challenges at the forefront are child marriage and teenage pregnancies, girls are not completing school for various reasons including, sexual abuse, stereotyping, and poverty. So, I really felt like I owed my community of Zombo. Something needed to change; the girls’ lives needed to be improved and that’s what inspired me to start Nile Girls Forum.” – Peace Monica Pimer, CEO Nile Girls Forum Uganda.
The Nile (river) being one of Uganda’s biggest treasures, combined with Peace’s love for girl empowerment, is what she says inspired the name ‘Nile Girls Forum’. The Organisation is located in Zombo district in West Nile, and Esami house along Bombo Road Kampala.
“Some of the challenges we have faced since we started operating include; insufficient funds, myths, and stereotypes that in one way or another frustrate the execution of projects, among others. We, however, do crowdfunding and continually sensitize the communities.” The 26-year-old reveals.
In further discussion with Peace, this is her say on the global pandemic and lockdown, what keeps her going, and other things you need to know about her Organisation.
What are some of the setbacks this lockdown season has had towards the Nile Girls Forum?
As an organization, while many girls will continue with their education once school resumes, others will never return to school as the potential for increased dropout rates will disproportionately affect adolescent girls, further entrench gender gaps in education and lead to increased risk of sexual exploitation, early pregnancy, and forced marriage.
As the CEO of the Nile Girls Forum, what keeps you going day by day and how do you manage to keep moving despite the challenges?
I am still here (alive) because God has plans for me to make a difference and bring glory to his name, and I have an amazing team and support from friends and family that keep me going as a CEO.
Where do you see your organization in the next 10 years?
I see Nile Girls Forum (NGF) reaching out to millions of adolescent girls across the world and us attaining our very own training and rehabilitation center.
What are some of the achievements your organization has had ever since you showed up?
- We have reached out to over 1000 adolescent girls and teen mothers.
- We have two Nile Girls Clubs.
- We have trained 300 girls on how to make reusable sanitary pads.
- Our projects have been featured in Newspaper articles on Women’s day 2019 in The New Vision newspaper, and the Daily Monitor Newspaper.
- We have reached out to more districts of Pakwach, Kwania, Arua, and Zombo.
- We are looking forward to collaborating with more organizations in Uganda and across the globe.
What advice would you give to other youths out there, the one who is not starting, or who want to start their business?
Do not procrastinate. The time is now. You should look at the pandemic as a blessing in disguise to have innovative solutions.