Rebuilding the Broken Bridges
Winnie Ayieko is the founder and Executive Director for Do it With Boldness Foundation (DWB). DWB is a duly registered non-profit foundation which promotes development through education, advocacy, mentorship, economic empowerment and leadership skills training for youths, young girls and women to help them realise their full potential in the society beyond.
She is an Independent Human Resource and Career Development Consultant with a Bachelor degree in Counseling Psychology and an MBA (Human Resource Management), who works with vulnerable communities to develop affordable, innovative solutions that raise the quality of education for all through a mentorship approach. She advocates for women’s rights, sexual reproductive health (SRH), menstrual hygiene and gender equality. Winnie has devoted the past years to mentor, train and empower young girls and women in marginalised communities.
“Girls and women around the globe go through different forms of abuse including: sexual abuse, gender based violence, female genital mutilation and early/forced marriages, just to mention a few. Their conditions of living, vulnerability and lack of knowledge of their rights are contributing factors to the abuse. There has been a shocking increase in the number of sexual offences cases (GBV) over the past few months in the country due to COVID-19. Movement has been restricted, people confined, and protection systems weakened which put women and girls at a greater risk of experiencing gender-based violence, and threat for harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and child/early, and forced marriages. I am happy that through the organisation, we have more than 200 girls aged between 7 to 24 years who are survivors of sexual abuse, female genital mutilation and early or forced mariage in our Mentorship Program where we train them on: their sexual rights, menstrual hygiene, life skills, self-awareness, leadership skills, entrepreneurial skills as well as offer psychological support.”
Through her leadership, the organisation has so far reached out to more than 1500 girls and women within the informal settlements by providing Sexual Reproductive Health and Menstrual Hygiene training as well as providing sanitary towels in order to protect them against ‘sex for pads’ practise. The training is also meant to reduce the teenage pregnancy cases within the slums which have been on the rise during this COVID-19 Pandemic as a result of schools being closed and lack of basic needs. Through partnership with other like-minded organisations, as well as friends of the organisation, DWB has been able to reach out to more than 500 households. We have provided food hampers which are able to sustain a family of eight for one week. We also provided masks within the slums to help curb the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as reducing communal spread.
“Community service gives me a valuable opportunity to walk into a different community that is less familiar to me but just as colorful and most importantly, in need.”