Katie Hoffman (Kinawataka Women’s Initiatives - KIWOI): Katie received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She then served for two years as a city coordinator for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Tap Project, which raises money to bring clean water to children in developing countries. At the time of her fellowship, Katie was pursuing a Master of Science in Foreign Service degree at Georgetown University with a concentration in international development. At Georgetown, Katie was the Vice President of Hoyas United in Graduate Service and managing editor of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. She also served as a graduate mentor for the Georgetown Women in International Affairs.


30 May

It’s already May 28, and I’m heading to training tomorrow. I’ll have three days to meet the other fellows and discuss our upcoming summers. Then, two days later, I’ll depart for Kampala and start working for Kinawataka Women’s Initiatives. To be honest, I’m not quite sure how this day has already arrived.

The past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind sprint to the end, leaving little time for reflection. Between taking exams, ending internships, finalizing other odds and ends, checking off other boxes and preparing to travel, there’s been little time to think about the fact that I leave for Uganda – my first foray to Africa – in less than a week.

It’s a strange mix of emotions. On one hand, I can’t wait to get started. After exchanging emails with Benedicta Nanyonga, the woman who started the NGO back in 1998, I’m eager to do what I can to help her advance her cause of developing her business and giving the women of Kampala a sustainable form of income. Phone chats with Scarlett, last year’s AP Fellow, and the first with KIWOI, reinforced that enthusiasm. With such a new organization, she was brimming with thoughts, recommendations and aspirations for my summer’s work. It was immensely helpful, and I look forward to building on all the work she did last year.

At the same time, it’s a bit intimidating. These are women, who – in the hardest of circumstances – were entrepreneurial and started their own business. That’s not an easy task no matter where you are. What exactly will I add to this scenario? Are the skills that I’m bringing additive? It will be humbling.

For now, I look forward to meeting my other fellows tomorrow. Hearing their stories, ideas and plans will be inspiring.

Posted By Katie

Posted May 30th, 2012

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