We had the good fortune of connecting with Timothy Sentamu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Timothy, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
GirlNow Foundation is a non profit organization whose goal is aimed at empowering young girls to overcome financial dependence so that they can become self-reliant and strong ladies for the future. For this case therefore, we engage in different communities of Uganda, empowering girls through social and economic training sessions. We do not only work with the young girls, we also go ahead to approach their parents, brothers, community leaders and everyone else who co-exists with the adolescent girls in their communities.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Having been in a community with so many young adolescent girls, teen mothers, school dropouts, etc, an urgent need to intervene the many challenges and issues affecting the girls arose within the communities where I stay. The realization of the need to intervene came to lime light during the Covid-19 lock down when each and every one was not into usual business. Many girls in Uganda had gone through a lot of girl empowerment programs but all that seemed not to have worked effectively to a common girl. Poverty drastically hiked in Uganda and lots of unfortunate things were done by people for survival. Many adolescent girls in various communities where married off by their parents, lured into marrying themselves off, engaging in prostitution, and lots of other activities in an effort of earning something at the end of the day. Many girls were married off by their parents just for 10 kilograms of maize flour and beans.
Being in such communities created an alarm and an immediate call to action and hence the birth of GirlNow Foundation. As the name of the organization GirlNow, the problems and the challenges that the girls face should be tackled with a great sense of urgency. One of the core values of GirlNow Foundation is that girls can only have true empowerment when they are financially independent. GirlNow Foundation is unique in a way that Financial Empowerment of adolescent girls, school dropouts, teen mothers, etc is our priority. We shall not tire until all girls can have a decent life through their own economic activities.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Uganda is blessed with quite a number of beautiful and uniquely placed natural sceneries. There are quite a number of places i would love everyone to explore for example; 1. Bwindi Impenetrable Forests National Park; This is a home of over 320 mountain Gorillas counting for almost half of the world’s population of them. 2. Mountain Rwenzori; This is also known as the “Mountain of the Moon”. It lies in Western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. The equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, while the lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo and rich, moist montane forest. The national park hosts 70 mammals and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation. 3. Queen Elizabeth National Park; Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in western Uganda, and is Uganda’s most-visited National Park. Named after Queen Elizabeth II and was established in 1954. The park’s diverse ecosystems, which include sprawling savanna, shady, humid forests, sparkling lakes and fertile wetlands, make it the ideal habitat for classic big game, ten primate species including chimpanzees and over 600 species of birds. 4. Murchison Falls National Park; Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest national park. It measures approximately 3,840 square kilometres (1,480 sq mi). The park is hosting 76 species of mammals and 451 birds and a lot more. 5. The Source of the Nile River; There is something magical about the Nile, the longest river in the world and the source of life for many great civilizations throughout the ages. The source of the Nile, alluded to hazily in the ancient writings of Ptolemy, stood as one of the great geographical mysteries of the Victorian Age. Closer to home, the Nile downriver from Jinja, Uganda, offers some superb white water rafting and game fishing. 6. Lake Victoria; Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, the world’s largest tropical lake, and the world’s second-largest fresh water lake by surface area after Lake Superior in North America. In terms of volume, Lake Victoria is the world’s ninth-largest continental lake. The other notable tourist destinations are; Mountain Elgon, Semliki national park, Kidepo valley national park, Lake Bunyonyi and so much more.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Well, there are a number of people who when referring to my success i can not forget. First of all, i want to applaud the Board of Directors of GirlNow Foundation in Uganda. The Board consists of highly experienced Ladies and gentlemen who have been in non-profit work for such a long time. These individuals have highly impacted the GirlNow team with advice, support and mentorship. It is through their guidance that I as a person and GirlNow foundation are thriving. Secondly, i can’t go about without appreciating and recognizing my amazing girlfriend who doubles as the Co-founder and Co-CEO of the GirlNow foundation Joan Nabatanzi. I am inspired and proud of the work and dedication she renders towards improving the lives of young girls in communities of Uganda. She has got me into getting involved in empowering young girls. And yes, watching what she does even on a personal level, dating an empowered girl should be every man’s need and prayer. On that note, I Shoutout to the GirlNow team in the United States led by the Co-founder and Co-CEO Kloey Battista. The team is comprised of young, energetic, innovative thinkers, strategic and fun individuals. The entire GirlNow team in both Uganda and U.S.A work so hard and smart to ensure that we reach out to the girl child who is deep in the rural community of Uganda. I cannot forget our donor community especially the Institute for Living Courageously who raised the funds that funded our very first project. I appreciate and recognize Kasenge Riverford Organic Agricultural Centre (www.krorganic.org). The above mentioned organization has mothered us for the period we have been operating. They are an Organic agricultural organization, engaging into organic agricultural training and agro-tourism in Uganda. I thank and appreciate each and everyone who believes in the cause of the GirlNow foundation, YOU ARE ALL CREATING A GREAT IMPACT for that girl down there whose hope had varnished.
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