“Sharing Common Problems”: Uplifting Women Through Economic Empowerment and Education in East Africa

by | Sep 10, 2019 | Seeds: Our Blog


A part of the East Africa Leadership Program Series

This year, TPP entered a new stage of its East Africa programming. Focusing specifically on grantmaking to burgeoning community leaders in Kenya and Uganda who have the potential to make real, lasting change, TPP and its East African Leadership team—all TPP grantees themselves—mentor and support these early-stage changemakers to help ensure their success.
Here are four grantees of the program who are working to uplift and empower women in East Africa. Though women represent more than 50% of the population in both Kenya and Uganda, female poverty is prevalent, due in part to gender-based violence and governing practices that favor men.

The following grantees’ projects showcase their amazing passion for and commitment to a better life for women in East Africa. TPP thanks them for their vision!

Lawino Esther – Padibe Town Council, Uganda
Construction of a Produce Store

Run by the Orphan Care Women’s Group in Padibe Town Council, Lamwo District, Northern Uganda, Construction of a Produce Store aims to enable women to safely store their hard- earned produce from thieves and wild fires – especially during the dry season.

Lawino Esther, one of the leaders on this project, was inspired to do this work because as a widowed woman who started having children at a young age, she found herself in a position where she was taking care of many children. Given the economic needs of raising children, she found that through agricultural farming and produce, she is able to secure income and give all of her children some degree of education.
Esther says, “It is through this experience that I have thought of calling on my fellow women and young girls with children to stay in a group and share our common problems and fend for ourselves and the orphaned children.”

The grant funds will enable them to construct a permanent produce store that will help all the members of the group to store their produce and also to continuously act as a one-stop Center to unite as many women as possible for sharing and mitigating life challenges.


Mohamed Madzambo – Kenya
Kizungumkuti Series

Kizungumkuti Series is a locally produced series, which profiles the community life of a young lady who is sexually harassed by her father in exchange of the education she received. The series follows her departure from the family where she joins the media industry and becomes a strong champion for female empowerment, gender advocacy, cohesion, and integration.
TPP funds will go toward the continued production of the series.

Deborah Munyekenye – Kakamega, Kenya
Shitungu Women Empowerment Group

Shitungu Women Empowerment Group operates in Kakamega County and aims at improving the well-being of women and the community by campaigning for a conducive and inclusive economic, social, cultural and political environment.
The founder, Deborah Munyekenye, believes that to have an empowered society and community, women must be economically empowered and thus able to positively contribute to the economy.

Funds from TPP will go toward helping the group achieve their objectives through capacity building, mentoring, coaching, training, and encouraging the community to use the locally and readily available resources of fertile land plus annual rainfall to partake in agribusiness to earn income and end poverty and hunger.

Josephine Nakakande – Kampala, UGANDA
Skilling Young Ugandan Mothers

The Skilling Young Ugandan Mothers project aims to empower adolescent young mothers in Kira, Uganda through generating income while looking after their children. The project targets young girls and women that are not in school, aged 15-26 years, with a focus on mothers and heads-of-household.

Using coaching and mentoring, beneficiaries are empowered to attend trainings where they are taught skills such as tailoring, hair dressing, and cosmetology. Additionally, TPP funds help the women learn how to construct bead bags, books, and bungles as income-generating activities. The trainings allow the girls and women to look at life’s activities and how they can generate income – such as washing clothes, planning events, and completing everyday chores.

Throughout the trainings, these women are given psychological support, are reminded of their worth, and seek to uplift one another to be caring and inspirational adults in their children’s lives.

Written by Carolyn Ashworth