A visit with a Foundation Ambassador from Uganda
I recently had a chance to catch up with Ugandan Foundation Ambassador Josephine Nabukenya, who was back in Washington, D.C., to participate in a meeting with an AIDS research group.
Every time I have the opportunity to meet with her, I leave impressed and inspired.
Only 19, Josephine is an incredible young woman. Born and raised outside of Kampala, she had no idea she was infected with HIV until she was 10 years old, when she found a secret letter that her mother had hidden away in their home. Learning that she, her sisters, and her parents were all living with HIV was heartbreaking.
But the stigma and discrimination her family faced compelled her to act.
She became involved with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, sharing her story to give other children and families hope. As she grew older, she became more involved. Whether working to educate her community, provide peer support and counseling, advocate to members of the U.S. Congress, or speak to a room full of 1,000 college students, Josephine has become a force to be reckoned with.
Josephine’s desire to make a difference, along with her passion for education and her family, has helped shape a future for herself that is nothing short of amazing. She is still a teenager, but that hasn’t stopped her from becoming a global voice in the fight against AIDS, with plans of becoming an international journalist, educator, and advocate.
When I caught up with her this week, she spoke of continued efforts to make a difference. But I was also reminded that she is still young. She laughed about her schoolwork – exams are coming up soon – her desire to learn how to make jewelry, and talked about the movies she watched on her long flight to Washington.
She, like so many of our Ambassadors, are a reminder of the impact one person can make, and the importance of the continued fight against HIV/AIDS.
Bravely sharing their stories, they educate, advocate, and make a real difference for the millions of people affected by HIV/AIDS.
I look forward to witnessing the future success and accomplishments that are surely ahead for Josephine.
Taylor Moore is the Foundation’s Associate Officer for Global Communications in Washington, D.C.