European Development Days Young Leader 2019
Founder of Youth Arise Network
Athena Network #WhatWomenWant Focal Lead
Digital Marketer and Social Media Influencer
At 24 years of age, Rejoice Eve Namale is a highly motivated and passionate Youth & Women Empowerment Advocate. As such, on voluntary basis Rejoice founded Youth Arise Network which amongst personal development programs, employment and education projects aim towards improving the health of girls and changing cultural perceptions that hinder girl’s access to youth friendly health services.
She served as a NOREC Ambassador in Kenya thus her actions are based on equity, solidarity and reciprocity, believing that differences, whether socio-economic status or background, through exchange of ideas aid the reduction of societal problems. Capacity built in Human Rights and Good Governance, Rejoice is a firm believer in the need for all citizens to play active roles in the alleviation of poverty, improvement of economic growth and enhancement of living conditions.
Rejoice is an exceptional writer and public/motivational speaker and also identifies herself as a Mental Strength Coach. Through her blog www.voiceofreasonbyree.wordpress.com and various speaking engagements, she has reached over 2500 youth and women in Malawi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. Her recent selection as European Development Days Young Leader 2019 had her sharing panels with European and African Leaders and Policy-makers at Europe’s leading forum on International Cooperation and Development (EDD) held in Brussels, Belgium and The Rimini Meeting in Italy (an event where protagonists of change of the decade meet). Through such platforms Rejoice presents key issues addressing inequalities reaching 8500 participants at an event and more across the globe.
Rejoice has a growing passion for Sexual Reproductive Health Rights for all women in their diversity. She was trained through the Azariah Inspiration Initiative in Malawi on Sexual Reproductive Health programs mainly focusing on youth marriages, family planning and rape/defilement. Previously a General Health Communication Intern at SSDI (Support for Service Delivery Integration), a project under USAID, Rejoice was also trained to monitor campaigns promoting health behaviours in relation to maternal and child health with one of the priority areas of the Essential Health Package being HIV/AIDS. After submitting an application on how best to enhance youth friendly health services in Malawi, she was amongst 3 female successful applicants in Southern Africa chosen by SRHR Africa Trust to attend the ‘SingularityU South Africa Summit’ in South Africa. She went on to advocate for sexual reproductive health rights as she serves as Athena Network’s #WhatWomenWant #WhatGirlsWant Malawi Focal Lead in partnership with UNAIDS.
Rejoice finished her undergraduate studies at the University of Malawi, Chancellor College where she studied Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Cultural Studies, majoring in Public Relations (October 2018). Her highest recorded GPA is 3.75 out of 4.0. With a thirst for learning and a passion for international development, she searches for opportunities to gain valuable insights, exposure and experience. In the near-future, Rejoice looks forward to pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Policy in order to contribute to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems.
• Awarded 2019 JCI Outstanding Young Persons of Malawi in the Personal Improvements and or Accomplishments Category.
• Guest Speaker at ICASA (International Conference on AIDS and STI’s) in collaboration with Athena Network, UNAIDS and UNICEF.
• Selected European Development Days Young Leader 2019 (EDD- Europe’s leading forum on development). Given the opportunity to speak on a high-level panel alongside Tanya Cox (Director, CONCORD Europe), Grete Faremo (UN-Secretary General and Executive Director, UNOPS), Pierre Moscovici (European Commissioner for economic and financial affairs), Albert Zeufack (Chief Economist for Africa, World Bank) and Zhang Maoyu (Vice-chairman, China International Development Cooperation Agency).
Topic: Fostering Inclusive Growth: Matching Efficiency with Fairness for Sustainable Development, she dealt specifically on Youth Inclusive Mechanisms.
• Guest Speaker for 3 panel discussions at The Rimini Meeting 2019 in Rimini, Italy. Rimini Meeting (An event where protagonists of change of the decade meet)
1st Panel Discussion Panellists included- Rejoice Eve Namale (Youth/Women Empowerment Advocate), Maria Rosa De Paolis (Programme Officer for Employment, Cohesion and Social Protection- European Commission DG DEVCO), Simona Beretta ( Professor of Economic Policy at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart) and Samuel Rizzo (Responsible for AVSI Project in Uganda).
Topic- At Work to become Protagonists of your Life.
2nd Panel Discussion Panellists included- Rejoice Eve Namale (Youth/Women Empowerment Advocate), Andrea Bianchessi (AVSI Regional Manager for Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and Somalia), Chiara Puletti (Senior Content and Campaign Strategist at European Commission and Development, Belgium).
Topic- Education and Girls: Women Empowerment Experiences Compared.
3rd Panel Discussion Panellists included- Rejoice Eve Namale (Youth/Women Empowerment Advocate), Emanuela Claudia Del Re, Italian Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Stefano Manservici (DG DEVCO), UN Youth Envoy, Mariam Yassin Hagi Yussuf, Somali Prime Ministers Special Envoy for Children and Migrants.
Topic- International Cooperation, a Resource for All.
• Appointed NOREC Ambassador in the South-to-South Youth Participate Exchange Programme organized by the Norwegian Agency for Exchange Cooperation and implemented by Youth Alive! Kenya.
• Amongst 3 female successful applicants in Southern Africa chosen to attend the ‘SingularityU South Africa Summit’ representing SRHR Africa Trust which advocates for Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and Youth friendly health services.
• Nominated for Her Majesty The Queen Hidden Heroes Awards as one of the inspirational volunteers across the 52 Commonwealth nations who is making a difference in her community and beyond.
• Certificate of Achievement for the Award of Miss Humanities 2018 for representing her faculty well academically and for great community service.
• Certificate of Recognition for outstanding volunteer service as a member of Chancellor College United Nations Volunteer Scheme.
• Published an article in National Youth Council of Malawi’s Newsletter.
• Writer/Author of Voice of Reason blog https://voiceofreasonbyree.wordpress.com
• Motivational/Public Speaker
In honour of International Women’s Day 2020, Hype Magazine Zambia decided to question Rejoice on her understanding of the theme, and more.
Having played such a definitive and unique role in empowering women, What does this year’s theme of the International Women’s Day “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights #EachforEqual mean to you?
In my opinion, this year’s theme is putting the ball in our court (women). It puts all women in the driving seat of equality. It disrupts patriarchal beliefs and cultural beliefs which have for so long hindered women’s ability to exercise their full potential in development, leadership and business. As an aspiring development specialist and policy-maker I envision a society where women sit on tables and make decisions for the betterment of their fellow women. Having the opportunity to speak at high-level panel discussions alongside European and African Policy Makers, I believe I was obligated to speak for all women mainly underlying equality, inclusion and access to adequate resources for development. Thus I believe “I am Generation Equality #EachforEqual” creates a strong sisterhood, which says in all you strive to achieve, you are your sister’s keeper.
•What’s your take on equal opportunities for men and women in professional life and what are your experiences in this regard?
Equality is a human rights issue. Both men and women are human and therefore deserve the right to equal opportunities whether in the workplace or any social sphere. As the Founder of Youth Arise Network which aims to reduce inequality of opportunity, the organization ensures that female and male rights are advocated for and activities cater to uplifting both the boy and girl. Also having served as a NOREC Ambassador and Youth Advocate in Kenya, my actions are based on equity, solidarity and reciprocity, believing that differences, whether socio-economic status or background, through exchange of ideas aid the reduction of societal problems. I am also the co-owner of Grow and Glow (a digital marketing and events management company) which I co-own with Tapiwa Chigumula and our events are dedicated towards educating women to flourish in the business as well as workplace and disrupt perceptions that women cannot lead professionally.
•Do you consider yourself to be a powerful woman?
I believe everyone has unique talents and abilities which set them apart from others, the number of talents and abilities I have, I have so far utilized to become the best version of myself whilst uplifting others. I think I am on a journey of discovery. To everyone who reads this, know that every great or “powerful” being started out as a beginner, if they could do it, so can you. Be great.
For more on Rejoice:
LinkedIn: Rejoice Namale https://www.linkedin.com/in/rejoice-namale-17a87b173
Instagram: @reigning_ree https://www.instagram.com/reigning_ree/