The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has announced a Ugandan, Rehmah Kasule as one of the winners of the 13th edition of the Bank’s Prize for women’s contribution to development.

Three African women join the prestigious group of Peace Laureates, Rehmah Kasule (Uganda), Hamsatu Nashe Alamin (Nigeria) and Togo based NGO, Groupe de réflexion et d’action, Femme, Démocratie et Développement. The Islamic Development Bank “Women’s contribution to Peace, Security and Development Prize” was awarded in Tunisia by the IsDB President, H.E. Dr. Bandar Hamza Hajjar and Prime Minister of Tunisia on 4th April 2018.

For the individual category, Ms Kasule, founder of Century Entrepreneurship Development Agency (CEDA International) in Uganda and Mrs. Alamin will receive $25,000 to support their work, while the Togo based NGO which won the organization category award will receive $100,000.

Ms. Kasule received the Award in recognition of her work as a Peace-Builder under the Rising Stars Mentoring Program working in post-conflict regions of northern and western Uganda since 2014. Her Youth4Peace-Uganda project, which she implemented under the KAICIID Fellowship to promote peace education, edutainment and inter-religious dialogues in schools, also contributed to her recognition in peace building.

Currently funded by MacArthur Foundation, the Rising Stars Mentoring Program was launched in Uganda by US Ambassador Jerry Laniar in 2011 with funding from the US Mission Kampala. The project aims at breaking the gender norms and patriarch cultural practices that impede girls’ access to quality education, school retention and transition into work. Working in seven under-served and disadvantaged secondary schools in northern and western Uganda including two refugee camps, the project has impacted more than 20,000 young women, 300 peace ambassadors and mentors, 230 teachers, 170 community leaders and 40 education officers.  The project equips young women with 21st Century skills to take charge of their lives and lead change in their communities.

Through mentorship, training, edutainment and community dialogues, the project inspires, skills and empowers young women to find the best in themselves, get a voice and actively transform their lives and lead change in their communities. It builds young women’s leadership and social skills, creates platforms for self-expression and equips them with work-readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills to increase their competitiveness and relevancy in the community.

Speaking on the award, Ms Kasule stated: “Our being here tonight is indeed an affirmation that when you dream, you achieve and no dream is too big. The award is therefore a symbol of the blessings that I receive for the sacrifices to make the world a better place. Isaac Newton said that “If I have seen further, it is by standing on shoulders of giants.” This Award is not for me, it is for the dedicated youth ambassadors and mentors, and the young women in post-conflict communities that keep dreaming despite the challenges that surround them.”

She said she would use the prize to produce peace edutainment messages and strengthen inter-religious dialogue in schools as she is now more energized to take up bold and innovative steps to promote peace education for the youth.

The Honourable Rehmah Kasule is a Rotarian, RAGFP member, past President and current International Relations Director of the Rotary Club of Kampala-Impala. She is currently a student of Peace, Conflict and Development at the University of Bradford in England.

Read her feature in the RAGFP Top 5 Membership Countries newsletter here.

Read her biography here.