In 2016, Shallon Nayebare joined the Girl Up Initiative Uganda team as a volunteer and later she was promoted to Program Assistant for the Ni-Yetu Youth Program, which promotes youth sexual and reproductive health and rights and the prevention of gender-based violence. She has an optimistic attitude towards work and is able and willing to help with all the programs. We invite you to get to know her better!
1. What is your favorite part about working at Girl Up?
At Girl Up we are given opportunities to attend different seminars and represent the organization regardless of which position you hold. This alone has helped me to gain exposure and become confident and bold through holding presentations and actively participating during these meetings. And I love the fact that we work as a team whereby anyone is willing to share knowledge at any time.
2. What’s one of your special skills or ‘super powers’ you bring to the Girl Up team?
One of my special skills is that I am passionate about working at Girl Up and particularly what I do in the Ni-Yetu Youth Program. I therefore bring an optimistic attitude towards work and am willing to help in any of the programs.
3. Why is this work needed?
This work is needed because we want to see a generation where young people can take full control of their selves in terms of making the right decisions, knowing who they are, being empowered, and becoming the voice of voiceless. This will eventually make us achieve our goal.
When I was growing up as a young girl nobody was there to mentor me and tell me what I am entitled to. I was shy and feared to open up even when I had outstanding ideas or was facing challenges. Also, my brothers were considered to be superior at home and they would speak on my behalf when I was in need of something from my father. This not only applied to me, but to all the girls in my community. Because of my own experience I want girls to learn to be confident and bold, speak out for themselves, and know their rights so that they can be better people in the future.
4. What frustrates you about the gender and poverty that you see everyday?
I am frustrated by how young girls and women are treated and considered as a lower class people and of a weaker sex just because of their sexual category. Yet, women and girls were not meant to be treated like that because they are human beings just like other people. Therefore, we need to build a society that is free from all forms of discrimination against women and girls.
5. What is your vision for the future… for these girls and women, boys and men; for Uganda; for the world?
I envision a world where young people are treated with fairness, are given equal opportunities are able to speak out for themselves and be heard, participate in decision-making, and become respected people in the society and the country at large.
6. What is your vision for your role in creating that future?
My vision is to empower and instill knowledge and skills to young people so that they can realize and appreciate their full potentials.
7. Is there something special you’re highlighting or celebrating this month?
Yes! This marks my one year anniversary at Girl Up Initiative Uganda as a full-time staff. Therefore, I consider this month to be one of the finest months in my life.
8. What do you enjoy doing/eating/exploring outside of Girl Up?
Discovering new things, eating pizza and traveling to new and distant places