In June 2016, Jane Tushabe joined our Girl Up Initiative Uganda team as a Financial Accountant. In the past year and a half, Jane has led our team through our first financial audits with success and has been a pillar in our work. Since her childhood, Jane has aspired to work at a bank. Due to the challenges that she faced while pursuing her education, her passion was ignited to work with an organization like Girl Up Initiative Uganda that supports the education of vulnerable girls in slum communities. We are so lucky to have Jane on our team and we invite you to get to know her better through our interview:
1. What is your favorite part about working at Girl Up Initiative Uganda?
It’s a family-like environment, regardless of the different person’s role. There is no friction among staff members and the bosses.
Girl Up gives a platform to all staff members to grow and explore their full potential.
Girl Up is also transparent, especially in my finance department. I am made aware of all financial details which simplifies my work. All project officers share freely about their projects and accountabilities, which gives me a clear insight into our programs.
2. What’s one of your special skills or ‘super powers’ you bring to the Girl Up team?
I am detailed, organized, and neat. This has always earned me credit and respect for my work. For example, in the previously concluded audit for the Ni-Yetu Youth Program, the auditor commented that we did exceptionally well because our accountability files reflected the financial reports. Being neat also gives me joy because I love when everything is organized and in order.
3. Why are you passionate about this work?
Since my childhood, I always admired bankers. I imagined how smart they would be, how tender their fingers would look like, the environment they would work in, and this is what inspired me to study accounting. However, I faced a lot of hurdles while pursuing my education. My mother was unable to pay my school fees when I was in primary six so I was helped and assisted by charity organizations and kind hearted people to finish my education. You can imagine how proud I was the day I graduated from university! My background and what I went through changed my dream to work in the bank as I was inspired to join a community-based organization to support other disadvantaged children who are bright, but without support like the way I was then.
When I am at Girl Up, I feel that I am in the right space. It touches lives, an opportunity I always longed for when I was growing up.
4. Why is this work needed?
In Uganda, we have many poor families and vulnerable girls who need the information that Girl Up Initiative Uganda provides and the helping hand as they grow up.
5. What frustrates you about the gender inequality and poverty that you see every day?
What frustrates me about gender inequality is the fact that when a woman speaks out about her feelings or rights people look at her as disrespectful, arrogant, too empowered, and as if she wants to change her woman nature. For example, in most families the men will always ask, “between me and you, who is the man”? Men always expect women to say “yes” and also bend low for them.
Also, poor people in our communities are treated unfairly. For example, there is a common saying that “a poor person cannot win a case in the court of law” because they cannot usually afford proper representation and are victimized innocently. Most of the time, poor people are misinterpreted and misjudged. Their opinions are usually invalidated and even when they have brilliant ideas, no one cares to listen.
6. What is your vision for the future… for these girls and women, boys and men; for Uganda; for the world?
I envision a future where girls have a voice, are not undermined and there is at least a balanced economy were the gap between the rich and the poor is bridged because that’s what will bring about equality among men and women, girls and boys.
7. What is your vision for your role in creating that future?
I envision myself working hand in hand with the people whom we share the same vision and passion. These people could be local leaders, change agents, health workers, economists and other community-based organizations.
8. Is there something special you’re highlighting or celebrating this month?
Yes! I am celebrating Christmas and the New Year 2018.
9. Do you have any children? If so, what are their names? How old are they?
Yes! I have two children: Nassim who is 13 years old and Shalom who is 4 years old.
10. What do you enjoy doing/eating/exploring outside of Girl Up?
I enjoy spending time with my family.
I love catching up with friends and having fun!
I like touring new places.
I also enjoy watching soaps and movies.
11. What is a fun fact about you?
I always find something to make people around me laugh!
As you can see, the Girl Up Initiative Uganda team is lucky to have Coach Jane maintain our financial books, keep our records organized, and make us laugh! We hope you are as inspired by her as we are!