PEER EDUCATOR SPOTLIGHT: Meet Patricia Irene Achen, A Champion of Change for Girls

Achen Irene Patricia is a dedicated peer educator with Girl Up Initiative Uganda. She is passionate about educating girls and young women on topics surrounding sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention so that they are able to make informed life decisions. Get to know more about Patricia in the interview below!

1. What is your name?

My name is Achen Irene Patricia.

2. What is your position at Girl Up Initiative Uganda?

I am a peer educator with GUIU.

3. How long have you known Girl Up Initiative Uganda?

I have known GUIU since 2017, so nearly 4 years now.

4. What is your favourite part about working with GUIU?

I love educating girls. When you look at our society, many girls are dropping out of school. Others are suffering, and they don’t have anyone to advise and mentor them. For the time I have been working with Girl Up Initiative Uganda, I, personally, have learned so much and I am so motivated to educate girls about sexual reproductive health and gender-based violence prevention.

5. Why are you passionate about girls’ education? Why do girls need to be supported in and out of school?

Most of our parents and society do not believe in girls’ education, they think that boys hold more value than girls. They don’t know that girls too are more important. “

I think that girls should be supported and given platforms to become leaders and role models to their young sisters and friends at home. They should be able to make their own informed choices with no dictatorship on whom they are supposed to marry and what kind of work they should do.

Our peer educators learning how to make reusable sanitary pads.

6. What frustrates you about the gender inequality and poverty that you see every day?

When you report cases to the police station about women and girls being abused, the response is usually slow. This ultimately compromises justice for them.

7. What is your vision for the future… for these girls and women, boys and men; for Uganda; for the world?

I want to see girls who I have been reaching out to in my sessions succeed and become great leaders, who are fully respected in their communities.

8. What is your vision for your role in creating that future?

My vision is to see girls succeed in life and to do the things that they love. Working with organisations like Girl Up Initiative Uganda, I have witnessed many girls being able to go back to school; young mothers have been helped, and all participants are able to make informed decisions about their futures.

9. What is a fun fact about you?

I am so social. It’s so easy to approach me and tell me anything, I love interacting with people.

Two peer educators laughing and enjoying themselves during GUIU training sessions.

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Empower a woman, empower a community. Empower a community, empower a nation. Empower a nation, empower the world." - Unknown.