Women empowerment can best be done by women who know and understand fellow women. Meet Noeline Kirabo who is building an active legacy when it comes to empowering young ladies to live out their God -given potential. Many know her for Kyusa but today, she tells us all about the New Generation Mentoring Program and how to be apart of the upcoming cohort in September.
1.Who is Noeline Kirabo?
NK: Noeline Kirabo is a family therapist by profession and a social entrepreneur by passion. She has over twelve years’ experience in the nonprofit sector mainly working with children, youth, women and community self-help groups.
She is the Founder and Executive Director of Kyusa, a registered organization that empowers out of school youth in urban slums to become employable by developing passion driven sustainable careers.
She is the Co- Founder and director of Newen Consults a personal and business development consulting firm.
Noeline is also the founding president of Christian Women Entrepreneurs Network (CWEN); a platform that brings together Ugandan Christian women in business to connect, create and collaborate.
As part of her passion for women, Noeline has also pioneered a four months coaching program called New Generation Mentoring program for young adult women 20 – 35 years preparing them to identify their potential and use it to strategically influence in the market place.
Noeline is an author, writer, motivational speaker, life coach, career mentor, trainer and business development consultant. Her life mission is to empower people to identify their life purposes and turn their passions into skills for fruitful living.
2.The name Noeline is synonymous with kyusa,but what is New Generation Mentoring Program (NGMP)?
The mentoring program was birthed out of my passion and commitment to nurturing young women to actualize their potential so as to influence in the market place. I had been mentoring and coaching ladies one on one for years so I just decided to turn it into a group mentoring because of the number of ladies that were approaching me for mentoring.
New generation Mentoring Program is a four months mentoring program that aims at developing outstanding female leaders. It is an experiential program that nurtures holistic development and equipping of women for kingdom service in the market place.
3. How many Cohorts has NGMP had so far ?
NK: Currently, we are running the third cohort and applications for the fourth cohort that will be starting is September are open.
4.How does one apply to be part of the program? Any qualifications needed?
NK: We are looking to work with:
Women who actively seek ways to maximize their own potential
Individuals who enjoy problem solving and creative thinking
Women who thrive when working with other people
Ultimately, we are looking for 20 women per cycle who want to use their talents to make positive change in their lives and the world.
If you are thinking “wow, this sounds like me!” we would like to offer you an opportunity to apply for the next class of women influencers.
Weekly sessions will be held every Tuesday evening at Kyusa community library in Kalerwe.
Opportunity to take part in community service projects
By the end of the program participants have developed life plans, mapped out career and personal development goals, acquired leadership skills, public speaking skills, ability to effectively work in teams, financial management skills and have a supportive network to enable them continue growing into their full potential.
6.Achievements so far?
NK : NGMP alumni are influencing in different industries which include the legal fraternity, business, fashion, education, social entrepreneurship, telecommunication, IT, agriculture, writing and Beauty industry among others. This provides a wealth of networks and resources that alumni can continuously draw from as they advance in their career and personal development goals.
At the moment 30 ladies have gone through the program and are accomplishing great things both in their personal and career lives.
7.Future of NGMP
NK :At the moment we are focusing on smaller groups for the cohorts with the intention of consolidating the learning experience.
Alumni are expected to also run their own mentoring clusters thus producing a ripple effect of the program impact.
Recently we inaugurated the first Executive Committee that is spearheaded by program alumni with the intention of having alumni take a lead on the growing alumni network so as to strengthen networking, collaboration as well as community impact.
Future plans (starting 2018) include:
Hosting an annual women in the market place conference
Monthly seminars for women in the market place
Quarterly community outreach activities
Annual Rising Woman award
The rest will be unveiled with time.
8.As our chat ends, how do people connect with NGMP on Social media ?
SM: I am a 24 year old creative, with a passion for God, fashion, and solving problems. Currently the lead designer at Mutano-an accessory line that deals in a wide range of hair accessories, necklaces,earings,bags for both men and women, bow ties.
Why the name Mutano?
SM: Mutano comes from a rukiga word, `ekyomutano’ meaning something unique and the name perfectly represents the brand.
I desired to create products that were unique with both western and local influences since I have experienced both worlds.
SM: I started making things like earrings, bracelets and simple headbands in 2013 in my first holiday break. I was pursuing a business computing course at Uganda Christian University (UCU).Friends loved my simple things and they encouraged me to grow it into full scale business hence the birth to Mutano in June, 2015.
I started with a sewing machine my parents had given me and a little pocket money from my school days to kick-start off Mutano in 2015. The products I made in 2013 were not with a machine but just my hands.
What is Unique about Mutano?
SM: We engage in social entrepreneurship. My mum has a school –Nyamiramah Christian School in Kanungu district where kids pay subsidized fees. Mutano gives a percentage from every product sold to the school, to support the children.
What`s your Typical day like?
SM: My days are divided into 3; Workshop, delivery and shopping days.
So on either of those days, I get up and have devotions, cup of tea and then go to work from 10am.
Mutano`s future plans?
SM: Mutano `s vision is to mentor and empower young women to save, have practical skills alongside business skills. Giving back in my mum`s school is one step in the right direction. Mutano will be employing ladies to work on the day to day running of the business as they are empowered.
What do you do for fun?
SM: I am a foodie so I explore restaurants, watch movies and hang out with friends. Live bands are a must attend for me.
Advise for young people
SM: Do what you love to do-nothing is too small. When you start a business ,build your business skills.
8th March is here and we are celebrating International Women’s day.
The theme for this year is bold for change ;what does this mean for all girls and women out there?
For any change to occur, bold steps have to be made.
Times have changed, as women we have a voice though it is lost in stereotypes ,tradition and other mumbo jumbo.
Don’t get me wrong,I am not against tradition; however I believe in many ways tradition embedded in our culture stands as a blockade for women today.
However, there are women making history each day with what they are doing :some silently ,others on the big screens and receiving worldwide recognition.
I watched the lunch hour news on NTV, there was a story of a one Ms.Kawooya in Luweero who provides a cup of porridge to primary school children.
She decided to take this bold step when she noticed some kids didnt have porridge while others did.And we all know studying on an empty stomach is the worst thing to happen to mankind when in school.
She offered to provide porridge to kids whose parents couldn’t afford the ONLY MEAL they had while at school.
The school has reported an improved performance in last year’s PLE results. She has plans of rearing chicken so she provides each child with an egg in the near future.
Ms.Kawooya doesn’t get paid to do what she does however she has realised that bold steps have to be made for change .
Government can’t ,won’t and will not do everything.
Individuals can change lives if they commit to it right where they are with whatever resources they have.
The reality is,women’s day is going to end and we will have another theme next year.
Question is what will we be doing between now and the next women’s day?Can we make bold and smart steps to be the change we hope for?
The key is in being consistent not just picking up activities and initiatives just because women’s day is here and we need to be seen on social media platforms as doing something.
Be bold for change; join forces with those making bold steps like 40 days 40 smiles, Kyusa,volunteer,give of your time,money and any other resources.