grantees » Rachel Nampinga, 1978

Rachel  Nampinga, Uganda

Originally educated as agriculturalist, Rachel is one of the women at the forefront of the gender and climate change movement in Africa. Having always been passionate about people, she began by working with her local community in Uganda to make positive changes. She went on to co-found Ecowatch Africa, now renamed Ogenza Africa, of which she is the Executive Director.  “Our mission is to build, strengthen and support local businesses to provide innovative solutions to existing development challenges resulting in opportunities and incomes.” Ogenza Africa specifically engages the youth, introduces locally appropriate technologies, and participates in national and international negotiations to ensure the insertion of gender and climate change in the discourse on sustainable development.

With the help of the JWH initiative grant, Rachel followed a structured mentorship program with senior gender and climate change activists, focusing on program management, international negotiation skills and research methodologies. She also participated in numerous international meetings, where she was one of the youngest experts. “[These meetings] were instrumental in the establishment of a gender and climate change network in Africa, which I co-founded. I also gained a lot of exposure to networks and people that have strengthened my work.” As well as this, the JWH initiative grant contributed to her post-graduate studies in Environmental Diplomacy at the University of Geneva, making her one of the most remarkable experts in her field, with both local knowledge and international influence. All in all, Rachel feels that:  “the grant helped me to access life changing skills. I am doing things differently and much better than before”.