Amina Mohamed, founded Cameras For Girls to change the lives of girls and women in Uganda, through the power of photography.
Joanita Nakatte is proof positive that our Cameras For Girls training works. Joanita attended our first Cameras For Girls 3-day workshop in Kampala in August 2018. She and 14 other young females gathered together in a rudimentary classroom to partake in our photography workshop, targeted towards females endeavouring to become journalists.
Joanita Nakatte studying the back of her camera during the 2018 workshop in Kampala, Uganda
SUCCESS IS YOURS TO TAKE
Most, if not all, had either graduated from Makerere University or Uganda Christian University, and few came from the International Institute of Business and Media Studies.
During our three days together, I kept repeating the phrase “Success Is Yours To Take!” I meant that we all have excuses as to why we are not successful in our chosen careers or fields. We can listen to those excuses and allow them to guide us either way, good or bad, or we can use the tools given to us and help ourselves advance in life and our careers.
Over three days, it was hard to get through the training, let alone learn about each girl individually. They were hesitant to share as they were a bit afraid of what was to come; learning a new skill and operating a camera that they had never even touched before. It was surprising to learn that even though most had been through a four-year degree program in journalism and mass communications, they may have only had access to a camera a few times during that period. Worse, when they are out in the field looking for a job, they must not only own a camera but know how to use it to take photos to accompany their articles.
CAMERAS FOR GIRLS ANSWERS THE CALL FOR GENDER EQUALITY
Unlike North America, if we get a job in journalism, we can focus on just writing our articles, while a photographer will accompany us to take the necessary photos. In Uganda and many other countries in the developing world, females are expected to know, be and do it all. In contrast, males don’t have to fulfill the same requirements. This is a clear example of gender inequality at play at its highest level and why Cameras For Girls was designed to answer the call – the call to change the status quo of females in the developing world.
Joanita, who this blog post references, used the camera and the training to go after what she wanted – a full-time paid job! Two weeks after we completed the in-person portion of the training, she went to show her editor that she now owned a camera and could use it. He immediately put her on payroll, and she now gets paid and published a minimum of four times per week.
Joanita wrote about her experience with the training:
“Amina, I understand you don’t understand the language (written in the local dialect, Buganda), but that’s one of my articles that was published this week on Thursday, and I took that photo with the camera you gave me. My editor appreciated what you did for me because I was about to lose my job and the fact that I can now own a camera, I was put on the payroll, and I’m going to start being paid in September because I’ve not been getting my salary ever since I started working in June. I’ll forever live to be grateful for what you did for me”.
Below is a photo of her first byline
CAMERAS FOR GIRLS IS PLANNING FOR MORE PROGRAMS IN 2022
Many of the girls are using the cameras that were donated to them to progress themselves. Not all but most of them (as will happen with any large group) share what they have learned, and each week I see them getting better with their photography.
The king of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi as soon as he had just arrived at the function Photo by Joanita Nakatte
I look forward to receiving many more success stories like Joanita’s and hope to garner more support to train other girls in photography.
Keep posted for more great stories about our students in Uganda and news about the 2022 programming we are currently planning behind the scenes.