Welcome to a new series of episodes in which we are talking to women making a difference in in this time of Covid-19.

Today in our first show since the pandemic began Ziada and and Mary Ann talk with Immaculate Mukasa is the Executive Director of The Mentoring and Empowerment Programme for Young Women (MEMPROW), an organisation In Uganda that develops capacity of girls and young women in education and leadership, and advocates for a violence free environment. We hear all about the approach MEMPROW take and how it has been effected by the pandemic, the crisis that many girls and young women are facing as a result of the lock-down and the impact this situation is likely to have for some time to come.

You can find out more about MEMROW and their work on their website: memprow.org

Prior to leading MEMPROW, Immaculate spent five years as the Programmes Director. In order to address the negative patriarchal mindsets and social devaluation of women and girls, Immaculate engages with multiple partner organisations, various institutions and individuals nationally and globally. She is a proud member of the research community with a number of publications in the area of education and palliative care. She is a Certified feminist leader by CREA (Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action), with a Masters in Economic Policy Planning and a Bachelor in Economics, and a certificate in Public Administration and Management by Makerere University. Immaculate excels at planning, analysis and managing development work. She is a specialist in Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) with proven track record of several years designing and implementing M&E instruments, accountability mechanisms and community-driven development programmes. She has managed many multi-donor projects at grassroots and regional levels.

In this conversation, Mary Ann talks with Penelope Sanyu from Femme Forte (www.femmeforteug.org/) in Uganda about how she links space and wellbeing in her work. They are joined with Eshban Kwesiga who has experienced the spaces Penelope creates and who also shares his perspective on her work and it’s importance.

Penelope Sanyu is Team Leader and Founder of Femme Forte in Uganda. She is a young lawyer, thinker, writer and author, policy analyst, solution architect and Agent of Positive Social Change and Transformation. She has dedicated most of her career to building the capacity of young people to innovatively engage with and influence public policy in various spaces. She has experience using social arts as a tool for socio-political transformation and has organized several social arts platforms at a national level. Penelope has a wealth of knowledge working with Civil Society Organisations, the women’s movement and feminist organisations in Uganda.

Eshban Kwesiga is very interested in feminist scholarly thought. He has written on the limitation of economics as a tool to feminist progress. Eshban has also curated conversations for men in consent. His includes advocacy for inclusion of an anti-gender pay gap in the Minimum Wage legislation, legislation against sexual offences, advocacy to have more women in Uganda’s security forces and agencies and access to contraceptives for women and girls.

This episode is part of a special series of conversations entitled – Embodying Change: A series of conversations on care and compassion in Aid and Development curated by Mary Ann Clements and Melissa Pitotti and in partnership with CHS Alliance, Global Fund for Community Foundations, Healing Solidarity and Change Making Women Podcast. This episode was produced and edited by Ziada Abeid and the music was written and performed by Eleanor Brown who you can find at eleanorbrownmusic.com

Find out more about ‘Cultivating Care and Compassion in Aid and Development’ an initiative being incubated by CHS Alliance here: https://www.chsalliance.org/get-support/article/compassionate-organisations/

Find out more about ‘Pathways to Power Symposium’ being co-ordinated by Global Fund for Community Foundations here: https://globalfundcommunityfoundations.org/what-we-stand-for/shiftthepower/a-symposium-on-people-led-development-pathways-to-power-new-ways-of-deciding-and-doing/