RuWCED-profile

RuWCED was founded by Mrs. Glory M. Nchimenyi in 2005. The circumstances of her birth and other personal experiences motivated her to start RuWCED:

'It all began on that Sunday afternoon, when my mother went into labour in her rural neighborhood. My father rushed her to the lone local private clinic, where I was born that evening. However, my mother soon developed complications from the birth, and the situation turned into an emergency. Unfortunately, as is the case for most rural communities, this clinic did not (and does not still have) a trained medical doctor.

Some elders and traditional leaders of the community who were at the hospital said that, following the custom surrounding birth, a difficult delivery is caused by infidelity on the part of the woman during pregnancy. Based on this belief, they warned my father to go home without seeing my mother.

My mother overheard this conversation from the other room and begged my father to come in, which he soon did, despite the objections of the elders. There was no emergency car available at this village clinic, but the village chief offered his car so that my father could drive my mother, a nurse, and me to an urban hospital 150 km away from our village early the next day. After a four-day coma and five weeks of hospitalization, my mother successfully recovered. When she saw my bright face in the second month after my birth, she named me Glory, meaning victory over the battle in between life and death.

While in Form One in secondary school, my best friend was forced out of her education at the age of 14 and given into a polygamous marriage. I went to plead with her mother to keep her in school, but her mother told me that my friend’s uncle already took her bride price and she was powerless as tradition demands. I very much missed my friend but kept in close contact with her. On my 25th birthday, I invited her over to visit. My friend, then pregnant with her fourth child, told me about her HIV/AIDS medical status, sharing that she could not even afford transportation to go to a treatment center. After hearing her story, and reflecting over her excellent performance in primary school, tears ran down my eyes as my heart bled in pain. I saw a shattered young future leader reduced to a beggar just because she was a woman.

These personal experiences, and a host of other non-personal experiences, motivated me to start RuWCED, so that all rural girls, especially the orphans, can have a voice, get access to education, know their rights, and understand their reproductive health and how to manage it. With this, every girl child will know everything she needs to empower her and other women in the community to live, care, nourish, and overcome stigma against HIV/AIDS.”