By Gerald Tenywa
Vanessa Nakate’s star keeps shinning. In the corridors of climate change, Nakate is a global campaigner. Her global clout has expanded, with Malala who is a child education activist, appointing Nakate as a Malala Fund board member.
“I am honoured to welcome Vanessa Nakate as the newest Malala Fund board member. Her work on climate action, girls’ education and gender equality is invaluable and I am thrilled to have her expertise and spirit on the team. Vanessa, thank you for joining us.”
Malala Fund is an international non-profit organisation that advocates for girls’ education. It was co-founded by Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate and her father, Ziauddin.
As a young activist focused on the intersection of climate change, education and gender equality, Nakate will help direct our work for girls’ education, according to a press statement.
“Like Malala, Nakate is a fearless young activist who knows the power of her voice and speaks truth to power. To secure a future where all girls can learn and lead, Malala Fund needs young women to inform our approach at every level. Girls know best the challenges they face and what they need to succeed,” says Suzanne Ehlers, chief executive officer of Malala Fund. “We are honoured to have Nakate join the board. Her experiences and expertise are sure to strengthen this organisation and expand its impact.”
Nakate is a 25-year-old climate justice activist from Uganda and founder of the Africa-based Rise Up Movement. Three years ago after seeing droughts and floods devastate communities in Uganda, she decided to go on strike and call for urgent climate action.
Nakate wants world leaders to see how the climate crisis is already exacerbating poverty, conflict and gender inequality. She now campaigns globally for climate solutions, including girls’ education. Nakate also runs a project to install solar panels and eco-friendly stoves in schools in rural communities.
“When you educate and empower a girl, the benefits often cascade into the community and the environment around them — improving lives and reducing carbon emissions. Malala Fund recently demonstrated how crucial education is as a holistic solution for our times. I am so honoured to be able to contribute to that work in the future as a new member of the board,” she says.
Nakate joins Malala Fund’s existing board, which includes co-founders Malala and Ziauddin Yousafzai, along with Akhter Mateen, Alaa Murabit, Fayeeza Naqvi, Françoise Moudouthe, Lynn Taliento, Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, Pearl Uzokwe and Susan McCaw.