Executive Director/ Co-Founder
Monica has over ten years of experience in mentoring and empowering girls and young women in life skills for self-protection against sexual and gender based violence. She is skilled in leading and organizing trainings and educational campaigns, community mobilization, human relations, and facilitation. Monica holds an MA in Education, Gender and International Development from the University College of London and a BA in Adult and Community Education from Makerere University. She has been an Obama Africa Leader Fellow, Perennial Fellow, Cordes Fellow, and African Visionary Fellow with the Segal Family Foundation.
Deputy Executive Director/ Co-Founder
Kimberly has been working to promote gender equality and the rights of women and girls, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa, for the past ten years. She is an experienced fundraiser, grant-writer, program planner and communications manager. Kimberly has dedicated herself to improving the well-being of girls and women in sub-Saharan Africa through establishing Girl Up Initiative Uganda and through her work with other organizations such as the Global Fund for Women, the Norwegian Refugee Council and the World Bank. Kimberly holds an MPhil in International and Comparative Education from the University of Oslo, an MPhil in African Studies from the University of Cape Town, and a BA in International Development Studies from the University of California Berkeley.
Co-Founder/ Board Member
Saidi is an Organisational Development and Human Resource Specialist. He assists Girl Up by providing financial and management oversight and strategic support. He has previously worked as a Director and HR Manager at Milvik Uganda Limited and as Lead Consultant at Start Point Consulting, which brings with him broad and tested experience in successfully introducing and managing change initiatives. Saidi has worked as a consultant at South West Water and as a Human Resource Administrator at Oxfam International. Saidi graduated with a double degree in International Business from London South Bank University and American Inter-Continental University London. Saidi enjoys his work with Girl Up as he is passionate about working with young people and transforming communities.
Director of Programs
Clare is a passionate community worker and a graduate in Adult and Community Education from Makerere University. She has devoted her life to inspiring people. For nine years, Clare has been reaching out to people in different communities in Uganda and changing their lives. She previously worked at the Maendeleo Foundation and the AIDS Information Center before joining Bead for Life as Membership Officer where she worked for the past seven years. Having a stutter in her speech at a tender age never discouraged her from achieving her dream of public speaking and guiding and counseling individuals.
Finance and Administration Officer
Jane has done accounting and finance at both diploma and bachelor’s level from Kyambogo University Kampala. She has also worked with M- Lisada children’s centre as an accounts assistant for 2 years after her diploma in the same field. She is passionate about helping the needy, working with the youth and encouraging young girls to stay in school no matter what they go through because she was a victim of circumstances and was helped by organisations which saw her excel. She is therefore very excited to work with the team to help the organisation realise its mission and vision for young girls and women.
Teopista previously worked with Spectrum at Labonita as an Accounts Assistant for one year. She holds a diploma in accounting and finance from Makerere University Business School (MUBS) as well as a Bachelor’s degree in the same field from Kyambogo University. Teopista is self-motivated, hardworking, goal-orientated, and passionate about work that benefits her community. She is proud to work with the team at Girl Up Initiative Uganda.
Allan Denis Zziwa
Program Officer, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Allan is a graduate from Makerere University with skills in leadership, facilitation, community mobilization and human relations among others. He has participated in women movements fighting for their rights for over five years, an activity that he is passionate about and a number of certificates have been awarded to him for this cause. Allan has received a number of leadership certificates from high school up to University level. Allan is passionate about women's leadership and rights, community work, research, music and social media.
Grants and Partnerships Officer
Nastassja has been working with NGOs and the UN for four years, mostly in the MENA region. For the past year, she worked in Reporting, Project Development and Donor Liaison for the UN Migration Agency in Libya and continues this work remotely, having recently moved to Kampala. She is passionate about gender issues and supporting women and girls. Nastassja is a great believer in inclusive and community-based action. She has an LLB in Law and an LLM in Public International Law. She is very excited to lend as much support as possible to the Girl Up team.
Program Officer, Adolescent Girls Program
Marion Achom graduated from Makerere University with a Bachelors degree in Adult and Community Education. She has experience volunteering with the Uganda Red Cross and volunteered with GUIU before being hired full-time. She believes working with GUIU will continue to have a great impact in her life as she has much to learn about gender-related issues. Marion enjoys traveling and watching movies, and is excited to be a part of the team at GUIU!
Program Officer, Adolescent Girls Program
Hajara is an experienced registered nurse who previously worked in the Ministry of Health attached to Buselowe Hospital in Butaleja District in Eastern Uganda. Hajara is so happy to work with GUIU as the Program Officer in the Adolescent Girls Program. She has extensive hands-on experience and knowledge in the various fields of medicine, especially around issues of SRHR. Hajara is passionate about working with adolescent girls and loves transforming the lives of the young people, making friends and meeting new people.
Abel Moses Mwesigwa
Program Officer, Boy Champions Project
Abel is a passionate gender rights advocate who has devoted his life to inspiring disadvantaged youth. He is a graduate in Vocational Studies in Art and Design from Kyambogo University and is currently completing his postgraduate diploma in Gender and Local Economic Development at Makerere University. For the past four years, Abel has been reaching out to youth in Nakawa division where he has implemented life-changing projects. He began his advocacy as far back as high school (Naalya S.S Namugongo), where he started a Child Rights Club because of the corporal punishments that students were being subjected to; the Club is still operational. Abel is passionate about reading, singing and changing lives.
Program Officer, Big Sister Network
Joan is a graduate of Makerere University with a bachelor’s degree in Adult and Community Education. Her experiences volunteering in different school clubs during high school shaped her love for community work. She also saw Girl Up as it began and hoped to be part of it. She loves reading and music during her free time and hopes to impact positively the lives of the girls that Girl Up reaches out to through the programs.
Ivan Kenneth Opio
Media and Communication Officer
Ivan is a graduate of Makerere University with a bachelor's degree in Adult and Community Education. He views being a volunteer at Girl Up Initiative Uganda as an opportunity for him to learn more about his own community (he used to attend our flagship school St. James Bbiina Primary School) and also to supplement his academic work. Ivan’s recent experiences visiting the schools, working with the team and interacting with the children (especially the boys) have so far been amazing and he looks forward to supporting the organization in anyway possible.
Program Officer, Ni-Yetu Youth Program
Sharon holds a Bachelors degree in Adult and Community Education from Makerere University. She heard about Girl Up Initiative Uganda through her sister, and decided to visit the offices to find out more about them. Sharon met Monica the Executive Director, and requested to give them a hand. Sharon says she has learnt a lot and gained knowledge and skills like report writing, engaging in community activities, training young adolescent girls, and assisting with data collection. She is glad to be part of the team!
Clare is motivated, hardworking, and passionate with business acumen. She comes to Girl Up Initiative Uganda ready to learn new skills and ideas. She is currently pursuing a Bachelors in Management Science in Accounting at Kyambogo University. She assists with the Adolescent Girls Program (AGP) and Mazuri Designs Hub.
Senior Seamstress, Mazuri Designs
Annet is currently working for Mazuri Designs. She is a seamstress by profession with 6 years of sewing experience. For the last two years, she worked for a fashion designer in Uganda. She is excited to work with Mazuri and beleives that it will inspire many people in Uganda because of the good team it has, and their creative ideas.
Senior Seamstress, Mazuri Designs
Innocent is a dynamic seamstress who has over 18 years of tailoring experience with various designers and brands in Uganda. She holds a certificate in tailoring. Innocent enjoys innovating and creating designs as well as teaching and inspiring other girls and women to gain a skill which brings about beauty and economic independence.
Seamstress, Mazuri Designs
Miriam Kabayo is a mother of five children. She finished secondary five in school and started working at a church as a receptionist, caterer and accountant for five years. Miriam has also worked at a grocery store and a shop selling furniture and home appliances. Miriam joined the Sewing Our Futures Project as a trainee in November 2015 where she learned how to make reusable sanitary pads, trousers, skirts, dresses and purses. She loves to sew and wants to work hard so that Mazuri can grow!
Seamstress, Mazuri Designs
Annah is a young talented fashion designer. After studying tailoring at Ruhanro Vocational School in Mbarara, she came to Kampala and started working for different fashion companies where she has been able to gain more experience in tailoring. She’s so excited to work with Mazuri Designs. What motivates her is the love for fashion and integrating more fashion ideas into the social enterprise.
Seamstress, Mazuri Designs
Susan is the newest addition to the Mazuri team. She grew up in Luwero district as an orphan with her elder sister taking care of her. In 2015, she learned of Girl Up Initiative Uganda and she joined the first cohort of trainees in the Sewing Our Futures Project. Susan is currently taking adult education classes to finish secondary school. She says that since joining Mazuri her life has drastically changed- she feels a sense of belonging, can freely interact with her peers, and is becoming a professional tailor.
Seamstress, Mazuri Designs
Jackie joined Girl Up Initiative Uganda as a student in the Sewing Our Futures Project where she learned the skill of tailoring and fashion design. Because of her love for fashion and her ability to learn fast, she was hired by Mazuri Designs as a full-time seamstress. She is motivated by the good working relationship she has with her fellow seamstresses and the joy of passing on the skill of tailoring to other young women in the community.
Michael is our Office Attendant and Security Guard at Girl Up Initiative Uganda. He has 4 years working experience with Securex Security Organisation, one of the leading security companies in Uganda. He worked mainly in the Cash in Transit department, a section which requires trustworthy persons. He is passionate about safety and good custody of peoples’ lives and property. He loves reading inspirational books, an activity that accompanies him in his free time. To him, GUIU is like a home away from home where he feels he should stay forever. He loves seeing that the voice of the voiceless is heard somewhere: an attribute that he especially appreciates about Girl Up Initiative Uganda. Michael encourages all individuals to embrace the rise of the girl child.
Isaac has 5 years of experience driving for various clients, including 3 years’ experience within the NGO field in Uganda. He is a self-motivated and creative person with excellent attention and a willingness to learn. Isaac enjoys working as a team, especially with people from different cultures, tribes and customs.
Our US Board
Sofie is an Information Officer with USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) where she monitors and reports on complex humanitarian emergencies, natural disasters, and response activities in the Asia and Pacific region. Sofie joined USAID/OFDA with more than four years’ experience in research, policy, and U.S immigration law. While at Simmons & Ungar, a full-service immigration law firm in San Francisco, CA, Sofie managed a large caseload of employment, family-based, and humanitarian cases. Outside of work, she volunteered with newly resettled refugee women and girls to promote capacity-building and self-sufficiency through mentorship, language training, and resettlement support. Sofie holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University where she specialized in forced migration and development economics and was Co-Chair of the Journal of Humanitarian Assistance. As part of her master’s thesis, she conducted desk and field-based research on the humanitarian response to the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, with a particular focus on gender-based protection issues. She speaks Swedish and French.
Vice President/ Board Member
With extensive travel experience and a passion for social justice and global health, Hilary is excited to be involved with Girl Up Initiative. While currently in medical school at the University of California, Davis, Hilary most recently worked as a Senior Program Analyst for Dimagi, a social corporation that finds innovative ways to use mobile technology to strengthen health systems. This experience included spending a year living in Mozambique and nine months in India, working primarily with community health workers in rural communities. Prior to that, she spent almost three years living in Managua, Nicaragua, where she coordinated a 3800-member pediatric cohort study on Dengue Fever and Influenza in collaboration with UC Berkeley and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health. Hilary received her B.A. in Molecular Biology and Public Health from UC Berkeley in 2009. She is at her happiest in the great outdoors and is endlessly fascinated by human ingenuity in unlikely places.
Secretary/ Board Member
Harvey is an attorney specializing in business, real estate and construction transactions and litigation. His law office has been based in Santa Barbara, California for over 30 years. He was instrumental in guiding Girl Up through its incorporation and in obtaining its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. He received his B.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his J.D. from the University of San Francisco. A fun fact about Harvey is that he is the proud father of Kim, and he is an avid bicyclist.
Connie Viveros is Co-Founder of The Inspired Heart Foundation and currently serves as its President. Connie has more than a decade of non-profit leadership experience across numerous charitable causes – all of them working for social justice. Prior to joining IHF, Connie’s non-profit leadership career included roles as Managing Director of The Unstoppable Foundation, President of The Collective Heart Foundation, and Co-Founder and President of the 100 Women Charitable Foundation. Connie’s interest in working for underserved women dates back nearly a decade to a humanitarian trip she made to rural East Africa. Visiting dozens of communities in both Kenya and Uganda, she was struck by the lack of educational opportunities and infrastructure for children, especially girls. She made it her life’s mission to give to organizations that provide education, mentorship, support programs and opportunities for underserved women. A fun fact about Connie is that she met Monica Nyiraguhabwa, GUIU’s Executive Director in Uganda back in 2010 and has been an investor in GUIU since its inception.
Our Uganda Board
James Oromait has over 15 years of experience in the education, social and the private sector fields. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Livelihoods Empowerment Foundation (LIFE-UGANDA) which supports marginalized rural women and youth in Eastern Uganda. In addition, he is the CEO and Founder of the Land Bank Ltd –a private real estate consultancy firm which sources investment finance for local small, medium and large enterprises as well as linking investors to vast investment opportunities in Uganda’s real estate, industrial and commercial agribusiness. James holds an MA Degree in Educational Planning, Economics & International Development from University College London (UK) and a BA in Education and Economics from Makerere University. His life philosophy is anchored in his belief in helping people to live their true potential. This is why is a passionate Board President for Girl Up Initiative Uganda.
Enid is a consultant in law, human rights, and gender providing consultancy services to various entities including a current assignment with the Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies. She is a budding entrepreneur and trainee farmer. She has a wealth of experience in private law practice, corporate, multinational and non-government agencies. Enid was trained as a lawyer at Makerere University School of Law and Postgraduate degrees in Governance and LLM in human rights from the University of Leeds in the UK. She is a Ford Scholar and a graduate of the leadership development Program of the Female Future Program.
Enid has served on various boards for both companies and non-profit organizations, including the Rotary Club of Kampala, where she provides legal expertise and has held various leadership positions. She is passionate about the promotion of girls’ rights and therefore pleased to be on the GUIU board.
Brian Sekayombya is a pharmaceutical supply chain specialist with experience of over 12 years in both local and international markets coupled with a special interest in quality assurance. Brian has also been transformed into a humanitarian pharmacist supporting public health emergency preparedness programs. Brian is very passionate about global health and the quality of healthcare the public receives.
Brian has experience in both local and international non-government organisations and their working linkage with the private and public sectors and government management. He has expertise in lobbying, stakeholder engagement, fundraising and project management and a strong passion for project financial management. Brian fronts excellence, integrity, honesty, accountability, openness and professionalism in everything he does.
Hawa Kagoya is a sociologist presently coordinating a girl engagement and empowerment project in Uganda. She has an inclination towards community development, particularly with girls’ and women’s empowerment. For the last 13 years, she has implemented, managed, and coordinated social development projects in the areas of capacity building, advocacy, reproductive health, renewable energy promotion, social and economic empowerment, gender analysis, entrepreneurship, and girls, women and youth empowerment. Hawa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Development Studies from Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi, Uganda in 2003; and a Master of Science in Rural Development from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom in 2004. Over the years, Hawa has learnt and urges that for holistic and sustainable development, the people and communities directly impacted by any project should be actively involved in the development process.