Lead SALead SA

Achieving Gender Justice & Reconciliation - Juliana Kariri

Written by: Sithandwa Ngwetsheni

On 22 November 2017, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) in partnership with LEAD SA, will celebrate 10 young African activists (between the ages of 18 – 35), who are doing exceptional work in the Gender Justice Field.

Since the year 2000, the IJR hosts the prestigious Reconciliation awards ceremony where individuals or organisations are recognised for their contribution in advancing reconciliation across different spheres of society.

Building on from last year’s successful introduction of the Rising Shaper award where three young people who made an outstanding contribution to achieving nation-building and reconciliation were recognised, this year 10 young activists were chosen from 47 public nominations.

Juliana Kariri, **Zimbabwe**

Juliana Kariri was born in the year 1985 on the 3rd of November in Mutare, Zimbabwe. In 2011 Juliana graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with Bachelor of Laws Degree. She started off her career in 2012 as the Compliance Officer of the Zimbabwe Youth Council, a statutory body that advises government on matters relating to youth policy. It was in this capacity that Juliana worked with a number of girls seeking help to overcome the obstacles to progress in various ways.

To respond to their needs, Juliana started the Girls Wisdom Hub Foundation in 2013 as a girls accompaniment programme. She spent time with girls, providing mentorship and coaching in different parts of rural Zimbabwe.

With the help of a few friends, the Society of Jesus and a grant from a US based philanthropist, Juliana started supporting girls to establish income generating project to help them raise money for school fees. As she uncovered more and more challenges for girls, more partners came on board.

Through the help of an organisation called MyPads, Juliana worked with girls from Makonde and Mbare Districts, teaching them how to make their own reusable sanitary pads. This was a well received initiative which was later adopted by the government and more and more organisations have since adopted that approach to help girls in rural areas.

True to her pioneering spirit, Juliana continued to establish a Girls Hub Scholarship which has assisted over 300 girls since 2013. In September 2014, Juliana Kariri launched the Girls Want to Learn Campaign to mobilise resources to assist under privileged girls raise school fees for their education. The campaign managed to raise over US15 000 which in turn assisted 25 girls to go through secondary education with some of them getting into University.

In 2015, the Foundation expanded its work to focus on broad empowerment through training for girls in essential schools. In this effort, a number of corporates came on board and in 2015, Juliana opened the Girls Hub Training Centre to offer a set of essential skills to girls from underprivileged backgrounds. The Girls Hub Training Centre (the Centre) is girls only centre for learning and entrepreneurial growth. Located at Number 4477 Tynwald Drive, Matidoda Park, the Centre opened its doors to the pioneer group on 8 February 2016.

Besides her work with the Hub, Juliana is a loving mum to a lovely daughter. She believes there is a better world for all girls in Africa and beyond. That belief gives her energy to continue motivating the world to invest in girls.




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