Eight East African bloggers from Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda will be attending the 2018 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group in Washington DC, US, from April 13-22, after winning the 2018 #Blog4Dev youth essay competition on Gender Based Violence in their respective countries.
Now in its third year, the #Blog4Dev series is an initiative of the World Bank, seeking to inspire creativity, innovation and practical solutions to some of the most pressing development challenges on the continent.
The 2018 contest was open to Kenyan, Rwandan or Ugandan youths aged between 18 and 28.
The topic was, “What will it take to end Gender Based Violence in your country?” submitted in a 500-word essay. The winning blogs from each country will be published on the World Bank Nasikiliza blog.
The Uganda winners are Tendo Namata (26); Helda Mary Akongo (24); and Douglas Dubois Semabala (26 years).
The Uganda winners were recognised at an award ceremony held on March 27 in Kampala. It was announced that they will be joining winners from other regions in an all-expenses paid trip to the US and will be accompanied by the World Bank Uganda Country officials.
They are expected to share their stories and meet with senior government and World Bank officials.
Akongo works as an operations and programmes manager with Zimba Women, an organisation that uses technology to empower women and is a GBV survivor who hopes to inspire other young women (and men) to speak out and break the silence against GBV.
Sebamala is an actor on NTV’s Second Chance series, and works as a public relations officer and marketing manager for Silent Voices Uganda.
Namata works as a community outreach fellow at Building Tomorrow which helps school drop outs to return to school.
From Kenya, the winners are Patrick Githinji Muhoro, 25, a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness and Trade graduate from Kenyatta University. He is passionate about social justice.
Jane Amondi Owuor, 23, is a student of journalism at the United States International University-Africa and a sexual violence survivor.
Benazir Mohamed Yussuf, 22, is a Bachelor of Education student at Mount Kenya University and runs Silver Lining a community-based organisation advocating for young women’s rights in northern Kenya, especially in the fight against female genital mutilation, of which she is a victim.
The Rwandan winners are Messi Therese Rudasingwa, 27, a graduate of Development Studies with a Master of Arts degree in Gender, Peace and Security. She works for International Service Rwanda, a British international NGO.
Prince Arsene Muhoza, 22, is a third year student at the University of Rwanda pursuing a Bachelor of Education in Physics, and an alumnus of the Young African Leaders Initiative. He is passionate about enhancing people’s lives through community teaching and advocacy.