Today is International Women’s Day. Supporting and empowering women and girls are fundamental to the work of DSW, something which new strive to achieve every day.

To celebrate this, and the continuing contribution that women have made to DSW’s work, we have given over the blog every day this week to members of DSW to talk about the importance of ‘Women working in Development’.


This morning, we hand the blog over to John Ngugi, youth coordinator with DSW Kenya


Tell us a little about yourself  – who are you and what is your role at DSW?
I am John Ngugi, a 27 year old SRH advocate. As a youth coordinator, I coordinate SRH interventions targeting young people in the Western part of Kenya.


What excites you most about your work at DSW?
I get excited when I see young people dodging the  HIV trap, as they are the pillars of the Kenyan economy.  I am passionate about young people it gives me joy to know that my work enables them to make better choices in life and in the grand scheme of things help create a HIV FREE WORLD.

In your view, how have women shaped the global development arena?
Women have contributed immensely to development due to their passion and drive in everything that they do. The late nobel laureate Prof Wangare Maathai quickly springs to mind as a champion who fought for the civic rights and environmental conservation. Its amazing that she actually underwent so much suffering to attain what she believed in.  In the African context, women set the foundation for societal development right from nurturing us when we were young right up until when we assume leadership roles in society. When i was young, I remember my loving mother passionately took care of us (4 siblings) in a single parent set-up within the slum, which in my view in the highest level of dedication and determination.


Who is your biggest role model?

My mother and Caroline Kwamboka, a former International Advocacy Manager at DSW and currently at IPPF.

How will you be marking International Women’s Day this year?

We have planned a series of build-up activities that will culminate in the grand celebrations on 8th March 2014. The build-up activities will include media discussions on local radio as well as community mobilization. The main activity will include edutainment by women groups and youth groups on the importance of women empowerment with a focus how education can be employed to inspire change.   Other activities will include HIV Testing and Counseling, peer education, discussions on gender empowerment, family planning and Sexually Transmitted Infections screening and testing, Cancer screening and referrals. I will be part of all these exciting activities.