Jolly Okot UoM

Jolly Okot: introducing WEND

*** UPDATE 11 Dec 2016 ***

The event had to be cancelled as Ms. Okot's could not get her U.K. visa in time. The Manchester Global Health Society and medical students from #TeamGulu2017 apologise for the inconvenience and will keep working to reschedule the event for 2017. See their full announcement below.

Okot cancellation

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Jolly Okot Andruvile dedicated her life to serve her community in Gulu, Northern Uganda. Formerly abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), the infamous militia led by Joseph Kony, she eventually escaped and launched a series of initiatives to help survivors in the community. First came HEAL (Health, Education, Art, Literacy, Sports), a programme of therapeutic dance and play for children traumatised by the war. She also co-founded the Legacy Scholarship Programme, giving thousands of girls and women primary, secondary and higher education. She also worked for various humanitarian organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontiers, InterAid International, Oxfam and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). She went on to become the Regional Ambassador for Invisible Children Uganda, leading its education and rehabilitation programmes. The organisation closed down in 2014 after having been on the international spotlight for its controversial "Kony 2012" campaign. Jolly Okot's engagement with her community, however, did not end there. Her new initiative, called WEND (Women’s Empowerment Network Design), is a nonprofit and social enterprise that employs and empowers disadvantaged women in Northern Uganda. Through WEND, these women are able to earn a living by making and selling stylish bags.

Jolly Okot will soon be in Manchester to give a talk about her life and her newest initiative. You will also have the chance to buy WEND bags in advance of the official launch in 2017. The event is organised by our partners at the Manchester Global Health Society and medical students from #TeamGulu2017who will travel Jolly Okot's hometown this summer to take part in a village health outreach project, and who will also be raising funds for their project.

The event will take place on Monday 12 December from 18:30 to 20:00 at Roscoe Lecture Theatre B, University of Manchester. Register for free on EventBrite.