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Atungire Petrina was an introverted and reserved individual who preferred the comfort of her solitude. As the first days of the camp dawned, Petrina found herself amid strangers from diverse backgrounds, each with their own unique stories and aspirations. Petrina was always among the silent voices in the room. Though timid and shy, the first lesson on public speaking pushed her out of her comfort zone. The experienced Camp facilitators engaged the young women leaders in a teambuilding activity to develop a speech on a topic of passion. Soon, Petrina’s voice started to grow stronger as she enhanced her skills in teamwork and adaptability.
Through group discussions, Petrina further emerged as a natural leader, encouraging others to express their thoughts and ideas. Her ability to empathize and listen grew exponentially, making her a sought-after team member. The 32nd FOWODE Leadership Camp was a series of experiential lessons that led Petrina and her peers to navigate various personal limitations through the carefully curated modules on Understanding Our Contexts, Self-Awareness, Feminism, Navigating Power, Leadership and Movement Building, Public Speaking and Preparing for Change among others.
As the camp concluded, Petrina’s transformation was evident to all. She had successfully grasped the fundamentals of feminist transformative leadership and identified period stigma as a challenge that she wanted to solve in her community.
“We had a session on leadership and movement building, and I kept asking myself when the camp was closing. Many young girls are bullied because of their periods, I plan to help young girls to find their voice so that they can also speak up and sensitize the public about menstrual health.” said Petrina.
As a trained and empowered young woman, Petrina returns home as a beacon of transformative leadership. She is invigorated to run initiatives aimed at empowering young women and girls; especially those facing menstrual challenges in low-income communities. Petrina advises fellow young women that if they have a dream, they shouldn’t wait. Every journey starts with small steps and everyone has the potential to create a positive change in society.