Sharon Kyatusiimire studying her training manual in the workshop, held in Kampala August 2018

How The She Voice Will Empower Females To Tell Their Stories in Uganda

I have had the amazing opportunity to teach photography and business skills to many young women in Uganda. Some girls came from the Mass Communication and Journalism program at Makerere University and Uganda Christian University. A few came from the Journalism and Mass Communications program at the International Institute of Business and Media Studies in Kampala.

Cameras For Girls Was Designed to Fill The Gap For Female Journalists in Uganda

We sought to teach photography and business skills to females endeavouring to become journalists, simply because when they graduate and pursue work in this field, they must own a camera and know how to use it to get a job. Their male counterparts are not required to do the same. Even worse, in most of their programs, there are not enough cameras to go around due to a lack of funding, and they also don’t get enough practice time during their university programs, leaving a massive gap in the skills area.

Amina discussing a students images at the CFG workshop in Kampala, Uganda

Amina teaching the 2019 class in Kampala

Cameras For Girls Was Designed to Fill The Gap For Female Journalists in Uganda

Cameras For Girls fills this gap with a 3-day workshop in-country, followed by a year-long online photography training followed by a business skills primer. We are proud to share that 32 females between the ages of 19-29 have been through our program, and twelve now have full-time jobs working as either print, radio and tv journalists or freelance photojournalists.

Sharon Countrygal Kyatusiimire was in the first training we held in Kampala in August 2018 and has collaborated with a few of the other students to design an organization called the She Voice. Their goal is to give females across Africa a voice to tell the stories otherwise not heard. Not only will it give her a voice in the heavily male-dominated journalism industry, but it will do the same for other girls as well.

Sharon currently works as a business reporter at Chimp Reports in Kampala, Uganda and loves her job but has been looking for opportunities to share her work on a broader scale. 

Sharon Kyatusiimire studying her training manual in the workshop, held in Kampala August 2018

Sharon studying her training manual in class, Kampala August 2018

Females in Africa Are Not Given the Same Rights as Males

As is the case in many African nations, females are relegated to household duties, taking care of their children or the younger children in the household, farming, collecting water, etc. Education in Africa is not free, and therefore old values still hold. If a family does find the money to educate their children, they will choose to educate their sons over their daughters. Those females that do obtain higher education are because their mothers were also educated and believe in the progression of females. However, sadly this is not a common feeling as old cultural practices still hold.

Sharon and I spoke about her idea via email back and forth due to our different schedules, and there were lots of things that needed to be addressed, such as how they will operate the platform? What kind of platform will it be? How will they pay for it? How will they attract advertisers?

Cameras For Girls is proud to sponsor Sharon’s efforts to extend our work for females in Africa. The website for The She Voice is almost done, and Sharon and her team are getting ready to launch. Watch out for the announcement to come soon!

Sharon (in the dress) with Lisa studying the back of the camera during the practice sessions in Kampala @Amina Mohamed Photography

Sharon (in the dress) with Lisa studying the back of the camera during the practise sessions in Kampala

Cameras For Girls fills this gap with a 3-day workshop in-country, followed by a year-long online photography training followed by a business skills primer. We are proud to share that 32 females between the ages of 19-29 have been through our program, and twelve now have full-time jobs working as either print, radio and tv journalists or freelance photojournalists.

Sharon is building a fantastic platform for other female storytellers and is definitely off to a beautiful start. I cannot wait to see where she takes this platform and how many females she empowers to tell their stories.

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