Imagine a widely distributed magazine for teenage girls that presents role models, health, and safety information. This is the reality for Rwandan publication Ni Nyampinga, which is written by girls, for girls, and enjoys the widest circulation in the country. The magazine is part of Girl Effect, an NGO focused on girls’ empowerment and closing the opportunity gap between boys and girls.
Leanne Cameron, a returning EL Fellow in Rwanda, recently began an English language class for nine young journalists from diverse corners of the country. During the day, these women work at the Ni Nyampinga headquarters before attending evening classes at the local university where they are pursuing their formal education in journalism, international relations, or other fields.
One journalist shared the importance of the publication to the mission of Rwanda and her own life: “I was born while my father was in need of a boy, and my mother gave birth to a girl [who is me]. It was a big issue to my mother because my father felt angry… until he married another wife. From the time I recognized that, I felt unhappy and [I] started thinking of how I will be a successful girl. Now I am happier… Ni Nyampinga is like the foundation of my journey.”