“Throughout my work experience, I have always loved young people,“ says Betty. Indeed, she worked at an adolescent health communications NGO for seven years where she established youth initiatives in Liberia, Kenya and India. While she recognized the good that these programs did, Betty was also aware that in her country of Uganda many young people kept dropping out of school due to early pregnancy, forced marriage, abusing drugs, infection with HIV/AIDS, indulging in antisocial behavior – all of which continue to impact them negatively the rest of their lives!
Betty had a sense that agencies serving teens needed to revisit their strategies, collaborate more and involve the young people in the design of the programs to make them more meaningful and impactful.
Following her experience as an iLEAP Fellow in Seattle in 2009, Betty returned to Uganda, with renewed passion to make her vision a reality – to empower and positively influence teenagers to deal with life challenges, without losing focus of their dreams. She worked for a year to gain NGO certification from her government for Teen Empowerment Uganda (TEU). That registration has now been renewed for three years!
Currently, Betty works for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Uganda Country Office as a Communication Specialist. She supports Teen Empower Uganda from her own income from this job as she and Board Members and volunteers seek additional funding. You can download a copy of the Annual Report at their web site: http://teenempowermentug.org