“Before joining CDF I used to consider a woman as just a home keeper and weak because in my community  (Kitunda Ward, Ilala District women are not prioritized and empowered. Also, I regarded a child as an individual who had only rights to basic needs such as education, clothing and shelter. I was not aware that the right to be protected from violence is also important. My engagement with CDF has enabled me to understand deeply the issues related to women and children rights,” said Valentina.

CDF has been providing a free and  safe space for  her to learn and speak out on burning issues in her community such as sexual violence, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and harmful traditional practices. She also urged CDF to continue empowering other more girls so that they can utilize their full potential.

CDF support to Valentina went beyond building her capacity, though CDF Valentina has been linked to different opportunities. “Through CDF, I had an opportunity to participate in a comprehensive training on gender equality and entrepreneurship offered by Msichana Initiative Organization. I was awarded a certificate of competence and as a result I taught my fellow club members on the same. In addition, I was invited to East Africa radio to participate in a media session on “the role of youth in changing their communities”. This was after the East Africa Radio presenter spotted me on CDF Twitter account. I am happy that I used the media session to inspire my fellow young women to become the change they want to see in their communities,” highlighted Valentina.