Inspiring Stories

We understand that hearing from others can be an important factor in making a decision to volunteer, donate or support an organization. That's why we have created this page to provide you with an insight into the experiences of those who have worked with us, and the difference our programs have made in their lives.

Emily Elderfield - UK

Emily Elderfield is from the UK and interned at WORI for 10 weeks where she worked on both the SRHR and GBV programs. She researched grant opportunities, wrote funding applications, managed social media awareness campaigns and presentations on GBV, menstruation myths and women/child rights.

She says, “One of my favorite moments at WORI was going along to a community training where menstrual cycle and family planning topics were taught. For the two-day training, 32 community members were taught how to make their own reusable sanitary pads. It was so uplifting to see women learning skills to have healthier and less restrictive periods, and we even had about 5 men join in.​

Working at WORI has given me the experience and confidence to apply for roles in women’s rights organizations, and pursue a Master’s in International Development next year. I’m so grateful for everything I’ve gained in Jinja – my heart goes home stronger and fuller that I could have ever thought.”

Elisa Armando - London, UK

My name is Elisa Armando, I am Italian, and I am a Master of research student in Anthropology at the University College of London. My main research area is political anthropology together with gender studies and I am willing to investigate over civil society organizations’ interventions in women’s rights protection within post-conflict contexts.

​​​I have always admired NGOs aiming to protect women’s rights and to fight against gender-based violence. For this reason, during spring 2020 I have decided to enroll in a three-months long internship for WORI. During this period, I have managed WORI’s social medias and strengthened the organization’s relationship with similar foreign organizations, giving life to joint partnerships across the world.

​Since the very first moment, I have admired the incredible work all the team does in order to fight for women’s rights by combining awareness-raising campaigns with practical help through the Nyonga shelter. For this reason, I have decided to keep volunteering for WORI even after the conclusion of my internship – because I know the organization is making an incredible effort to make women independent, strong and empowered. I trust WORI’s work and I am proud to be a #WORIwoman

Isaac Bateman - England, UK

Hello, my name is Isaac Bateman from England and I’m currently a student at the University of St Andrews in the final year of a degree in International Relations and Philosophy. Over the summer of 2021, I had the opportunity to work as an intern for WORI Uganda. ​

​My internship was titled “Sustainably increasing awareness of WORI Uganda”. I was tasked with researching to diversify funding sources to ensure sustainability of projects. My experience with the WORI team allowed me to explore a wide range of organizational development strategies and share a final report of my findings.

​I would like to repeat my sincere thanks to everyone at WORI but particularly to Jackie and Rose for overseeing my internship. Their support, patience and encouragement made for fantastic internship experience that I would recommend to anybody with a passion for NGO work and women’s rights advocacy.

Sophia Brousset - Scotland, UK

My name is Sophia Brousset and I am a student at the University of St Andrews in Scotland studying International Relations and Social Anthropology. I spent the summer of 2022 interning at WORI Uganda in Jinja.

Over the course of my internship, I had the privilege of working as a researcher for the East African Women’s Museum. Over the course of my time in this role, I helped decide which categories of research we would like the museum to focus on. I went on to do research on the content of the museum, exploring topics from pre-colonial gender roles to women’s modes of dress across East Africa. I then translated this research into more digestible bits of information, appropriate for a museum setting.

I am extremely grateful for my time at WORI. I would like to thank Rose and Jackie for all the guidance they gave over the course of my internship. I look forward to seeing the work I and the rest of the team WORI have put into the museum project come to fruition.

Lydia Roberts - North Wales, UK

Before arriving in Jinja, Lydia travelled the world for a year after graduating from Cambridge with a degree in Human, Social and Political Science. She interned as a Fundraising and Advocacy Assistant.

​Lydia’s favourite memory of working at WORI was visiting a rural community where the town was celebrating the opening of their first clean water source. She says, “It was a really beautiful day, one which sticks in your head. We were welcomed from the car with singing and dancing, which continued throughout the visit. The community was truly grateful for WORI’s effort to provide them with clean water. It really made me think, Hey, I could do this for the rest of my lift.”

​During her stay, Lydia trekked through Sipi Falls, went on safari, spent weekends at the Hairy Lemon and played more than enough rounds of rummy at Cozy Bar. According to her, Uganda really is the Pearl of Africa.

Jessica Darst - Virginia, USA

She came to Jinja to undertake her practicum for her Master’s in Public Health at Texas A&M and had previously graduated with a BA in Communication Studies from Longwood University. She interned as a Social Media Coordinator and Nutritional Assistant.

​Jessica’ favorite memory of working with WORI was the first day the team took her to the nearby village of Busogo to interview, film and photograph women had been abused and neglected by the men in their lives.

​She says, “I never thought I would be able to live my dream of volunteering abroad and using my knowledge of both mass media and public health. I had the opportunity to listen to women who had been silenced. As a vocal woman myself, I couldn’t help but feel my heart break that these women had no one willing to listen to them. As some hugged and thanked me, it meant more to me than anything I’ve ever experienced. They were no longer silent. I will always be thankful for that moment.”

Katie Leighutt - Colorado, USA

Katie Leighutt is from Colorado, USA and attended Colorado State University as a Liberal Arts major with a minor in Political Science.

She says, “While interning with WORI I was able to meet amazing women from all over Uganda. While it was hard to hear, filming the stories of women who were affected by domestic violence had the biggest impact on me. I will never forget their stories.

​I also had a blast teaching a class on women’s health and getting to make the women laugh as much as I could. One of the greatest parts of interning in Jinja is getting to be so close to the Nile river. Evenings having a Coke by the water, going on boat rides and getting to see the beauty of this river was a huge highlight of my trip. Africa changes you; it becomes a part of you and you will spend all of your time finding ways to get back!”

Hannah Moran - Vermont, USA

Hannah Moran is from the USA with a degree in Dietetics, Nutrition & Food Science from the University of Vermont. She was very excited to be part of the menstrual health programme during her internship.

​Her favorite experience, other than sharing in lunch and chats with the team, was holding a Menstrual Hygiene Day event.

She says, “It was such a great experience to celebrate MH Day and combat stigma around menstruation with a great group of participants and trainers.”

She loved hearing young girls speak out about their periods and ask questions!

​Hannah loved living in Jinja, the food, the friends she made, the beautiful river and flowers everywhere making it a lovely place to stay and work. She will miss the WORI team (until next time) and has been very inspired by her experience with WORI to continue working in the field of human rights.

Andrew Adams- USA

My name is Andrew Adams from the United States of America and I am currently a student at the university of St. Andrew in England. Over the past several months, I had the privilege of working with the WORI working on the establishment of the East Africa Women’s Museum, which is to be the very first of its kind in the region.

​In my role as an intern for the museum project, I was able to use my research skills and guidance from the WORI team to acquire new information and history about similar women museums and women’s rights NGOs around the world, Furthermore, I was able to expand WORI’s network of contacts with other feminist organizations, as well as media and content creators to aid in the resource mobilization phase of the project’s development. Currently, I am involved in the fundraising aspect of the museum, which will hopefully allow us to put our plans into action and have a virtual presence for the museum project up and running in the coming months. ​

​I am grateful to the team at WORI for all I have learned from them, for welcoming me so graciously, and for making me feel like a valued contributor towards the achievement their goals. I am excited to continue working for WORI, and I look forward to the success of the museum project and all present and future endeavors.

Eimear Kearins - County Sligo, Ireland

My name is Eimear Kearins, I’m from Co. Sligo, Ireland and I’m currently studying economics and politics at Trinity College, Dublin.

​I have had the most wonderful six weeks working with the Women’s Rights Initiative. It has been such a privilege working in a team with such driven and inspiring women and seeing the impact they make on a daily basis.

​It was a difficult but rewarding experience listening and recording the stories of survivors of GBV who had been to the Nyonga Women’s Shelter- they talked about their struggles and how healing and strengthening being at the Shelter was for them. It was also an honour to interview those who work at the Shelter and with WORI and record their stories. On top of this, it has been really exciting working on the Women’s Museum and I can’t wait to see it come alive in the future.

​I’d like to thank Rose, Jackie, and all at WORI who made this the most incredible experience. I will always treasure my time in Jinja, and I look forward to returning to the Pearl of Africa already!

Krystal Levitske - USA

My name is Krystal Levitske from Willow Springs, IL. Krystal interned at the Women’s Rights Initiative after completing her Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana –Champaign.

The summer of 2021, I, Krystal Levitske, served as the online social media and graphic design intern for the Women’s Rights Initiative in Uganda. During my time working for the WORI I created posters, made social media posts, and created a pictorial of the GBV manual. The posters I created were based off of the GBV manual, GBV police training module, Know the Signs of Domestic Abuse brochure, WORI training for domestic abuse manual, Nyonga Women’s Shelter brochure, and the Domestic Violence Act of 2010.

​I am beyond grateful to be able to say that I interned at WORI and for the inviting environment at the Nyonga Women’s shelter. I am excited to see what the Shelter does next.

Marcelina Lekawska - USA

My name is Marcelina Lekawska, I am Polish and 21 years old. I study Biology and Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews and I was an intern at WORI for 6 weeks throughout June and July 2022.

​I worked on the Sexual and Reproductive Health Program, teaching about menstrual health in schools and documenting the process of reusable pad production at the WORI reusable pad production unit. I also worked on a documentation project at the Nyonga Women’s Shelter, interviewing survivors and staff members to improve WORI’s documentation and outreach about the state of gender-based violence in Uganda, and the benefit of the services the Nyonga Women’s Shelter provides.

​The thing I enjoyed most about my work here was conducting interviews and then sharing the stories of the people who I had the pleasure of speaking with. My favourite weekend activity was going on a trip to Sipi Falls, where I hiked and learnt about coffee production.

Eirini Vryza - Greece

My name is Eirini Vryza. I am from Greece, and I am currently in the final year of my studies in Philosophy at the University of St Andrews (Scotland). During the summer of 2022, I had the opportunity to intern with WORI in Uganda.

My internship with WORI lasted for 6 weeks and it centered on the East Africa Women’s Museum. My tasks involved (i) researching funding opportunities, (ii) preparing parts of the application for these funding opportunities & contacting collectives and individuals with whom we have shared values and goals, as well as (iii) developing the budget for the museum’s first phase. My experience in WORI has allowed me to gain both technical skills (strategic management and planning for a project) and greater insight into certain social structures (especially the deep roots of structures of gender inequality).

It was truly inspiring to work with the WORI team. Their motivation to assist girls and women in the community has been very inspiring. I am proud to have been a part of this organization, of this team and of the first women’s museum in the East African community. I would like to give special thanks to Rose for her being such an inspiring figure and to Jackie for her valuable help during my integration in the community.

Carmen Paping - Netherlands

Carmen Paping is from the Netherlands and came to WORI to gain more experience in the field after graduating with her BA in International Development from the University of Wageningen.

​She says, “Best decision ever! Of course I had a bit of culture shock, but it was great from the start. After a few days of introduction Rose put me to work. I got the opportunity to develop my own training programme on Child Rights, with Annet’s help. Before I could start the training we needed to conduct a survey to find out how much the students and community members already knew about this topic. Before I knew it I was in the taxi-bus with Annet on my way to the first village. What an amazing experience! When we arrived some of the community members were already waiting for us underneath a mango tree. They welcome us with open arms. Well, the parents did. The children ran away from me as fast as possible, hiding behind their houses and laughing every time I looked in their direction. It took me weeks to convince them I wasn’t as scary as I looked!

​Working with the lovely staff of WORI gave me the confidence to start a Master in Childhood Studies and Children’s Rights. And most importantly, it gave me the courage to start fundraising in the Netherlands for the Nyonga Women’s Shelter. It all worked out! We found a foundation willing to fund the construction of the shelter. I’m very proud of what we achieved together and I’m curious to see what the future will bring!”