“Very often young people have dreams and aspirations; but they often lack proper guidance on how to achieve them, resulting into discouragement.” Rehmah Kasule, a leading mentor noted in her speech during one of her mentoring talks.
Huda Nassali is an exception young woman leader. She has not only been mentored to achieve her goals; she has become a mentor herself. She is the Mentor attached to the Islamic University in Uganda under the Strengthening Young Women’s Civic Participation and Leadership Project. When asked what makes her a great mentor, Huda confidently stated;
“Love and empathy, plus good communication skills and understanding. I am still a young woman, I can easily relate to what other girls are going through. Our cultures and religions sometimes do not favour women much, so a lot of girls grow up timid and without a voice to speak out on issues that matter to them. My role as a mentor is to become that enable, a confidant, a pathfinder and I some times play the role of a personal and professional counselor (big sister).”
Huda’s participation in the trainings for mentors enabled her to perfect her interpersonal skills and master emotional intelligence. Before she joined as a mentor, she did not have proper goals and written dream, nor did she have to confidence to get on a big stage and speak. Her professional life has grown and with the skills gained, she envisages a bright future in her career. The program has given her the opportunity as a young person to make a difference in her community and amongst her peers. She continues to encourage more girls to get involved in politics, not only as voters but also candidates for positions of power in both local politics and their various Students Guild Councils.
As part of her ongoing campaign of promoting peer education and counseling, Huda has come up with her own mentorship project known as “each one, teach one”. By sensitizing young women to support each other, learn, share, network and collaborate with their peers, the concept of “paying it forward” is taking root in the universities. Huda also mentored her own sister Badria Namuli in leadership and today, she is the Students Guild Speaker at her University, IUIU Kabojja
Using this module, she has impacted more than 150 young women in universities. Many of these young women are running and winning elective positions and according to Huda, it is not through sexual favours;
“Men and women are voting for them because they are confident, articulate and focused.”