The aim for my application to the FOWODE young leader’s camp was to leave transformed and changed from this beautiful experience. I must say all my expectations were met at full capacity. I learned a lot and unlearned too. I testify to have been so against issues related to gender, little did I know I was naive and green about the what is actually happening around us on a daily basis.

Through out the camp, I unlearned a lot, grew up, and also learned much on gender related issues and their impact on community development. Being privileged to be mentored by the right people was a chance; gender budgeting and planning was exciting for me as an economist because it challenged me to look out for the gender element and how appropriate policies are in addressing gender issues in planning and budgeting.

The FOWODE camp allowed me to boost my communication skills by being able to visualize my passion and how to use gestures to prove a point. Usually we are told what not to do and yet the emphasis should be on what we should do. This camp experience provided me with the solutions I needed.

Having a passion and career objective to improve livelihoods, I started a strong journey of active citizenship after my university, joined balloon ventures and learned entrepreneurial skills which I have used to do do my part in transforming communities through organizing workshops. I am now proud to to know that I intend to use the knowledge I have obtained through FOWODE to blend gender analysis and responsiveness in my work of  empowering women and men on gender issues, rights and and also to constantly remind them that they are not privileged therefore they must speak up to be heard.

Today, I feel more firm to pursue my Master’s in Public Policy Analysis and Development since I have a multiplicity of experiences  (including the FOWODE camp experience) to make informed and balanced decisions. This is the kind of camp all aspiring young leaders should subscribe to.

Thank you FOWODE.

By Kizza Stella Maris, Buikwe District.



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