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And the winners are…

Melograce and Bernard posing with their dummy cheque after winning

Four organisations got the Hakuna chetu Bila sisi (Nothing about us without us) Award in Tanzania. Voice caught up with the third winner, Disability Repro-light and this is what they had to say.

This was our first time in Zanzibar and we will definitely go back again! Although we were so immersed in the bootcamp we still got a glimpse of the magical island. The venue was superb and we couldn’t get enough of the taste of the Pweza from Forodhani!

We had gone to Zanzibar to compete for the Hakuna Chetu Bila Sisi Award. This was a challenging but rewarding experience for both of us. It was our first time to pitch as a team for anything let alone a prize. At times we were overwhelmed by the pressure but we kept reminding ourselves to stay focused on the prize. Eyes on the prize as they say! The judges were very helpful in showing us how to address our assumptions and sharpen our ideas.

Melograce and Bernard in a group photo with some of the other nominees

The best time was during the ice breaker sessions where we interacted with other competitors and got to know each other. It was so much fun learning together and from each other! This also allowed us to make so many friends along the way. Just as the words outside Stonetown Inn said; we truly came as guests but left as friends.

Making it to the top 10 served as a validation for us. It was refreshing to affirm that despite being  young and being a youth-led organisation, we were doing something important. Winning this award made us so happy and so excited about our project.

If we were to sum up this experience in one word we would say, unforgettable.

Mgolegrace Smart is the Founder & CEO of Disability Repro-Light while Bernard Kivuma is the Programme Manager. Disability Repro-Light is an organisation with a vision to enhance and promote a platform to enable adolescents, youths, and women with disabilities to be equipped and enjoy their sexual and reproductive rights. Disability Repro-Light  focuses on amplifying the voices of people with disabilities to contribute to the improvement of their Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) ultimately leading to healthy, productive, and empowered adolescents, youth and women in Tanzania. They came in third during the award.

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