Ann began her relationship with CEDOVIP as an intern. When a job opportunity opened up 2 years ago, she knew she wanted to apply. She is now the face behind CEDOVIP’s new work with universities, teenagers at the health center and the referral points network. Her passion for activism is evident in her patience and commitment to working with different groups of people which includes the teens.
Q: What was your focus when you were in University?
Ann: For undergraduate I studied community psychology. I had initially wanted to work in psychiatric hospitals or in prisons. I was passionate about reaching out to vulnerable groups and help them. Originally I thought about prisoners, orphans, people living with HIV/AIDS and the disabled. Along the way I realized that violence contributed to all these groups’ vulnerability in one way or another.
For post-graduate, I studied project planning and management because my undergraduate program had limited content on programs and projects. I later volunteered at Reach out Mbuya HIV/AIDS Initiative where I worked with orphans and vulnerable children. We provided psychosocial support, nutrition advice, talent exploration and other forms of support. I had always had a passion for humanities and wanted to work with NGOs advocating for human rights.
Q: So how did you find CEDOVIP?
Ann: While at University, I thought I should put into practice what I had been studying. Interniship was not a requirement for my undergraduate course but I knew it would equip me with knowledge and skills. I asked a friend who was then working with an organization that works on disability issues. He advised me to apply to CEDOVIP and when I did, I got the placement.
Q: What did you gain most from your internship with CEDOVIP?
Ann: It really was like my first job. People here supported me in everything. At first I thought I was being favored but then I realized that it was because of CEDOVIP’s emphasis on teamwork and integrity. All staff supported me to deeply understand the violence that women experience and I automatically saw the need for me to join the women’s movement to support the survivors.
Q: What has been your favorite memory or accomplishment as an employee?
Ann: My greatest accomplishment has been my deepened knowledge around VAW/G issues. I feel proud that I am part of the team that has inspired groups such as community activists and teenage activists to raise awareness on VAW/G and I am also proud of the functional referral directory (created by CEDOVIP) that has been used by different stakeholders to effectively refer survivors of violence for appropriate support.
Q: Who is your favorite celebrity activist?
Ann: Tina Musuya is my favorite celebrity activist. She is so passionate about this work and she keeps her activism strong and alive. She is also a great mentor who gives you the space to learn and lets you grow. I have never told her that she is my role model but YES……..she is.
I also want to add Joanita Kawalya of Afrigo Band. I like the messages she always gives to girls which are aimed at empowering them in life. Particularly I love the messages she always gives to wedded couples. They emphasize respect, love and communication. She is one person who has upheld the values of a woman and she has inspired others through her love of music.
Q: What color would you use to describe CEDOVIP or your activism?
Ann: Purple. When I first got here, all the walls at CEDOVIP were purple. I have so many memories with that color. To me, purple is the color of love, peace, respect and harmony.
Q: What is something other than VAWG that you are passionate about?
There are two. One is that I really love making friends. And I love keeping them. I don’t know whether it is a skill or if I am lucky or if it’s my personality. But when I go to a space, I leave with a new friend.
The other is about listening to music. And dancing. Dancehall and Hip Hop are my favorite. Sometimes in the morning I love Soul. I also love Country, but that depends on the time, too.