Susan Namulindwa is the founding Director of Girls Run Period, an organization focused on Advocacy for ending Period poverty and women’s rights. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Maama Watali and Africa Trade Desk and the Vice President Canada with the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business. Susan has long standing expertise in policy, partnerships, strategy, outreach, and communications, as well as an experienced fundraiser, presenter, and trainer. She is an advocate for the use of inclusive trade to lift communities out of poverty.
Susan is very involved in her community in Canada and Africa and the broader International African Diaspora through various community development initiatives on gender equality, environment, connectivity, food security, diversity, and inclusion. She is passionate about women and girls’ leadership, well-being, and development.
On this episode of Destination on the Left, Susan Namulindwa dives into her passion for creating trade and business opportunities for Africa and why aid without a relationship is ineffective. She shares why and how she started Girls Run Period, which is focused on ending period poverty in Africa, and how that led her to build world-changing collaborations.
What You Will Learn in this Episode:
- Susan shares more about how Girls Run Period combines running with addressing period poverty in Africa, focusing on empowerment, collaboration, and sustainable tourism
- The importance of business relationships and trade partnerships for Africa’s development
- Why Susan and her team entered the UNWTO Tourism Challenge, and how it helped them with aligning their idea with the goal of bringing tourism to small rural communities
- Some of the amazing events Girls Run Period has organized, including a cross country meet with thousands of attendees and the support of world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge
- Their future plans supported by Athletic Kenya and the local and national governments, that are helping them expand their impact and empower even more girls
Founding Girls Run Period
Susan shares her passion for creating trade and business opportunities for Africa and discusses how Girls Run Period aims to end period poverty through running events. She talks more about how she came up with the idea for creating an event that would get women excited about participating in a marathon in the Rift Valley and how her own enthusiasm for running led her to link the cause of empowering girls and women in Africa with funding local businesses to provide sanitary wear so girls don’t miss out on crucial years of education.
World Changing Collaborations
Susan shares why collaboration lies at the heart of Girls Run Period’s success. Through partnerships with running clubs, athletic organizations, schools, and health professionals, the program is able to create a network of support that extends beyond running.
This collaborative approach ensures that girls receive not only the necessary supplies but also mentorship, health services, and educational opportunities. By working together, Girls Run Period is able to maximize its impact and create lasting change in the communities it serves.
Promoting Sustainable Tourism
Girls Run Period combines two powerful forces – running and tourism – to create a positive impact. Participants not only get to run in iconic destinations like Kenya’s Rift Valley but also support the cause by paying fees and donations. This unique approach promotes sustainable tourism and helps generate funds for the initiative’s important work.
Susan discusses trade over aid, and why she is a strong advocate for trade partnerships that benefit both Africa and its global partners. By supporting local entrepreneurs who produce reusable sanitary pads, Girls Run Period empowers girls and women while contributing to environmental sustainability. This approach aligns with the sustainable development goals and showcases the trade and business opportunities available in Africa.
- Website: https://www.girlsrunperiod.org/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GirlsRunPeriod/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/GirlsRunPeriod
- Marathon Campaign: https://www.girlsrunperiod.org/marathon-campaign/
- Awake Tourism Challenge: https://www.unwto.org/unwto-awake-tourism-challenge
- The Awake competition attracted more than 2,000 entrants from 120 countries worldwide. The most submissions were from Europe, the Americas and Africa, followed by Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East. From these, an expert jury selected 30 finalists and then 15 winners: https://www.unwto.org/news/unwto-announces-winning-start-ups-for-awake-tourism-challenge
- UNWTO Sustainable Development Goals: https://sdgs.un.org/goals
I have exciting news! I’m publishing my first book, Stronger Together: Building World-Changing Collaborations that Succeed. I’d love for you to join my very first book launch team to help me reach my goal of 50 Amazon reviews in the month of September. Go here to join: https://nicolemahoney.com/#join!
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