Pearl of Africa
In October 2023, I had the incredible opportunity to attend a Women Human Rights Training in Geneva, Switzerland. During this event, I connected with numerous inspiring women leaders, one of whom was Naomi Ayot.
Ms. Naomi Ayot
Naomi is a passionate advocate and a champion for human rights, currently serving as the Executive Director for CAPAIDS. CAPAIDS is a grassroots non-profit organization in Uganda dedicated to enhancing capacity, advocating for reproductive and sexual health rights, and providing support to vulnerable communities affected by HIV/AIDS and STIs. Originating from the tragic Konyi war in Northern Uganda, CAPAIDS emerged as a result of the Home of Hope, creating a healing and training space for survivors of the war.
Naomi graciously invited me to Uganda, as a special guest for the end of the year CAPAIDS program and to give a keynote speech or the graduation so as good “daughter of the soil “I accepted without hesitation, grateful for the opportunity and my first-time visiting Uganda " The Pearl of Africa.
The Nile River
Upon arriving in Uganda, CAPAIDS team ensured I learned as much as possible during my short visit at the headquarters in Kampala about their impactful work, culminating in a 5-hour trip to Lira to meet the girls at Home of Hope.
Care Interantional Uganda
At Home of Hope, where a six-month program for rehabilitation & skilling of Gender Based Violence survivors is in place, the girls receive counseling and life skills training such as tailoring, cosmetology, agriculture and culinary training, and with the intention of reintegrating into their communities.
It was a profound experience filled with a mix of emotions, and I deeply appreciate the opportunity to address young girls, particularly the African girl child, as I see myself in them and them in me. As I shared with them, while my life may differ from theirs in terms of access to resources, I don't consider myself special for the life I lead. I was simply 'border cutting away' to belong to a war-torn country. However, I made a conscious decision to advocate for them and contribute to restoring them to who God made them to be. The selfishness, greed, and evil in this world have placed them in this challenging situation
I reminded them that ‘their value did not increase because they now possess skills that enable them to provide for themselves. They have always had value since they were in their mothers' wombs and their inherent worth is not determined by external circumstances, but rather, it is an intrinsic part of who they are."
Then, CAPAIDS introduced me to Imat Enume, the first influencer at Home of Hope. Imat played a vital role in safeguarding women and the community. Her legacy remains tangible today. Despite having no biological children, Imat became a nurturing figure to over 50 children, showing that one doesn't need to give birth to be a mother. Her devotion left an indelible impact on many lives.
Though the moment was brief, it remains a profound source of inspiration and a driving force behind my life's purpose; It holds great significance for the mission and existence of ILAVA and ILAVA Gives Back, reinforcing the imperative to persist and push forward.
Thus, the launch of the "For that One Girl One Machine" Campaign marks a new chapter. I am excited about the opportunity to give back and contribute towards the advancement and restoration of girl- child.