She is confident, passionate and speaks with clarity. The 23-year-old Monica Peace Pimer, 23, from Zombo District in West Nile sub-region speaks with a lot of conviction and passion about the not for profit charity organization she has been running since 2015.
Pimer is part of the growing generation that believes Ugandans can solve their own problems without looking for aid. She is convinced that as long as people are willing to become creative to find unique solutions to everyday problems then there will be no need to be yoked to foreign donors.
“I think there are fundamental flaws with how NGOs are funded in Uganda (and across the continent). There are often these grants from abroad who generously inject $10,000. To a new charity organization that might seem like a sizable amount of money, but it is really not. How can you grow if all you do is handout the money without creating investments that can generate a monthly income? Unless we get more Ugandans to invest in making a difference for themselves we are doomed to remain poor and needy,” Pimer notes.
Pimer grew up immersed in poverty. Her mother, Jane Constance Umikuru, relied on her nursing assistant’s salary to feed, clothes, accommodate and educate her 11 children single handedly.
“I grew up under the most wanting circumstances. We never had enough of anything at home. I saw how much my mother worked to provide for us but it was never enough. Having gone through this I never want to see anyone else suffering without some sort of help,” she relates.
With the advantage of an education, Pimer believed she was in a better position to help those unable to help themselves. In her first year at Victoria University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Procurement and Logistics, she called five of her village mates to start the Nile Girls Forum.
The NGO’s vision is to help girls from the eight districts of West Nile sub-region that include Adjumani, Arua, Koboko, Maracha, Moyo, Nebbi, Yumbe and Zombo to get basic skills out of which they can earn a living.
“The girls in these districts have been neglected for a long time. They have very few opportunities available at their disposal, so they languish in poverty. So far the charity organization has taught about 150 girls to make reusable sanitary towels, soap and shampoos. We also process coffee and find market for all these products. Seventy per cent from the sales goes to their welfare and availing themselves with basic needs. The remaining 30 per cent goes to the group account of the NGO to run office work,” she adds.
Managing school and work
Pimer, just like any other CEO has a very busy day and she has to plan for it with intention so that some things are not neglected. She starts off her day 6am with prayers. By 7:30am, she is in office holding planning meetings.
“Unless we have an outreach, the day at office will be spent in drafting proposals, reviewing reports and supervising my colleagues at work. I also do research from other successful NGOs and connect with possible partners. I leave work at 7pm,” she relates.
Pemir says much as she has gone through numerous challenges mainly due to her age. “It is not easy to get my peers to follow my vision; also convincing people that I can run NGO and be trusted with support is a daunting task. But I have been blessed with resilience. Even with these challenges I am happy because I know that a journey of thousand miles begins with a step,” Pimer says.
Source: Daily Monitor