Global affairs graduate student receives amnesty award for work in Uganda

first_imgEditor’s Note: An earlier version of this article misstated the university where Nyanjura graduated. She graduated from Kyambogo University, not Campbell University.Tags: Amnesty International, Keough School of Global Affairs, Uganda When Victoria Nyanjura noticed a hole in the Women’s Advocacy Network in Uganda, she knew she had to act.A graduate student in Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, Nyanjura is a Ugandan native who is a survivor of captivity. At 14 years old, she was abducted in Aboke, Uganda, by the paramilitary group Lord’s Resistance Army. She was a prisoner for eight years before escaping.Years later, Nyanjura graduated from Kyambogo University in Kampala, Uganda as an undergraduate student. She then traveled back to Uganda, where she realized economic empowerment was missing in a system meant to assist women who had been previously enslaved.As a response, in 2017 she established Women in Action for Women (WAW), an organization focused on offering women vocational skills and business training.“I realized this is an area that some of us need to think deeper, and it needs to really be talked about and explained because people need to understand the importance of building these skills of individuals that enable them to go independent and be able to provide for themselves,” Nyanjura said. As was recently made clear, her effort did not go unnoticed.On Feb. 5, Nyanjura was announced as one of two recipients of the 2019 Ginetta Sagan Award for her work empowering women in Uganda. The award, which also grants the winner $20,000, is given annually to recognize and assist “women who are working to protect the liberty and lives of women and children in areas where human rights violations are widespread,” according to Amnesty International USA.“I was blessed to work on and to coordinate the activities of the Women’s Advocacy Network,” Nyanjura said. “Over the years … I kept on seeing something that was missing in all that was being done [and that] was the component of economic empowerment.” WAW stresses meeting women where they are and making opportunities accessible, Nyanjura said.“This issue requires doing something that works for the women, so they don’t have to think of the international market,” she said. “The market should come their way, and it should focus on what they can do within their communities where they are located and they should be able to access markets by themselves.”Nyanjura found her way to Notre Dame to build her skills and networking in hopes of better helping her community. “After college, I went and started working, but I felt that I really needed to build my capacity in a lot of things in terms of writing and in terms of understanding theories in peacebuilding and comparing what has happened to other places,” Nyanjura said.The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies offered her that opportunity.Nyanjura will graduate in May with a master in Global Affairs and a concentration in International Peace Studies. She plans to return to Uganda to further her foundation’s reach. “Right now I am very sure that when I get back, I [will be] able to do more for WAW and at the same time, I will have the ability to continue knocking down doors and seeing how we can partner with individuals who are interested in supporting a common cause,” Nyanjura said. One of Nyanjura’s biggest obstacles has been having the courage to tell her story. Even so, she says receiving the International Amnesty award has been one step forward in having her voice heard.“I think that telling is hard right now and continuing to advocate, to really make people understand that we have unique challenges that need to be tackled in specific ways,” she said. “[The award] has motivated me to continue telling this story.”last_img read more


Track & Field Closes Out MVC Indoor Championship With Strong Performances

first_imgCofer capped her final MVC Championship by earning a third-place finish in the 3,000 meters with a time of 9:52.74. Cofer was in the top three for the entirety of the race and held off all challengers after the leaders pulled away from the pack. 200 Meters4. Aaron Chier, 21.92 4×400-Meter Relay4. Priebe, Zak, Metivier, Van Leersum, 3:19.95 The women’s field events were paced by Christina LeMunyon (Overland Park, Kan.) clearing 11-4.25 to finish in a tie for sixth in the pole vault. The men’s team got tremendous points from the 60 meters with three Bulldogs in the final led by Deonne Witherspoon’s (South Bend, Ind.) third-place finish in 6.81. Drake Individual Men’s Results60 Meters3. Deonne Witherspoon, 6.815. Aaron Chier, 6.878. Kundai Maguranyanga, 7.10 In the men’s distance events, newcomer Kevin Kelly (Kilcok, Ireland) scored three times in his MVC debut with a third-place showing in the mile and a time of 4:24.27. Men’s Team Results1. Illinois State, 182       2. Indiana State, 112     3. Southern Illinois, 105       4. Northern Iowa, 86     5. Bradley, 78       6. Drake, 58      7. Loyola (Ill.), 31       8. Valparaiso, 11  Bailee Cofer right after earning a podium spot with a 3rd place finish in the 3,000m— Drake TF & XC (@Drake_TFXC) February 25, 2018 Young’s time was just .01 seconds off the winning time and matched her previous effort as the second-fastest time in school history. The third-place finish came less than 24 hours after she finished fifth in the 5,000 meters Saturday night. Deonne Witherspoon minutes after crossing the finish line in 3rd of the 60m at the #MVCTF Indoor Championship— Drake TF & XC (@Drake_TFXC) February 25, 2018 Heptathlon8. Erik Olson, 4,39712. Maxwell Harlan, 3,992 Four all-conference performances highlighted the second day of the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Track & Field Championship for the Drake University men’s and women’s teams. Drake’s men’s team finished sixth in the team standings while the women’s squad was seventh. Illinois State swept both men’s and women’s team competitions. 4×400-Meter Relay7. Giuliano, Young, Coombe, Kearney, 4:15.82 Kelly returned to the track later to finish fifth in the 3,000 meters, running a time of 8:28.25 in the slower of the two heats to still score points for the Bulldogs. On Friday evening, he ran the anchor leg of the team’s distance medley relay that finished second. 60-Meter Hurdles2. Mary Young, 8.34 Mile3. Kevin Kelly, 4:24.27center_img Complete Results (PDF) 3,000 Meters5. Kevin Kelly, 8:28.2520. Josh Yeager, 8:45.2623. Kyle Brandt, 8:48.7531. Kyle Cass, 8:53.30 The field events also produced points for the Bulldogs with Cloud Masibhera (Harare, Zimbabwe) finishing fourth in the triple jump a day after winning the MVC title in the long jump. For his efforts, Masibhera was named the MVC Freshman of the Year. Pole VaultT6. Christina LeMunyon, 11-4.25 (3.46m) Witherspoon was followed by Aaron Chier (Belgium, Wis.) in fifth in 6.87 and newcomer Kundai Maguranyanga in eight. Chier returned to the track moments after his 60 meters to take fourth in the 200 meters with a time of 21.92 to cap a big weekend for the sprinter.  Print Friendly Version The Bulldogs’ top women’s performances came from a pair of veterans in Mary Young (Urbandale, Iowa) and Bailee Cofer (Overland Park, Kan.). Young added to her collection of MVC honors with a second-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.33. Story Links Triple Jump4. Cloud Masibhera, 46-10.75 (14.29m) Drake Individual Women’s Results400 Meters8. Victoria Coombe, 57.59 Mary Young reflects of her best race of the season, an 8.34 in the 60mH to finish 2nd at the #MVCTF Indoor Championship— Drake TF & XC (@Drake_TFXC) February 25, 2018 3,000 Meters3. Bailee Cofer, 9:52.7431. Morgan Garcia, 10:34.9035. Rachel Selva, 10:46.83 High Jump8. Forest Moses, 6-7.5 (2.02m) Women’s Team Results1. Illinois State, 174       2. Indiana State, 139     3. Northern Iowa, 103.50    4. Southern Illinois, 90     5. Missouri State, 62       6. Loyola (Ill.), 47     7. Drake, 29.50    8. Bradley, 17     9. Evansville, 1  Coach Carroll remarks on a great weekend for the Bulldogs at the #MVCTF Indoor Championship— Drake TF & XC (@Drake_TFXC) February 25, 2018 Newcomer Kevin Kelly talks about his 3rd place finish in the mile at the #MVCTF Indoor Championship in a hard-fought race— Drake TF & XC (@Drake_TFXC) February 25, 2018last_img read more