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Grassroots Leadership: Impact Stories

Meet Joyce Nangobi

Joyce Nangobi, Uganda

Director of Slum Women’s Initiative for Development (SWID)

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Ms. Joyce Nangobi’s is the Founding Directors of Slum Women’s Initiative for Development. Her lived experience challenges dominant definitions of who is rural and who is urban. Joyce founded Slum Women’s Initiative for Development in 2003 when she and other women living in overcrowded, asbestos contaminated social housing offered to low waged manufacturing industries in the peri-urban semi-rural areas of Jinja, Uganda decided to organize to stabilize their housing as they were targeted for eviction and demolition if they did not act.

  • Her lived experience challenges dominant definitions of who is rural and who is urban.

Working without funding until 2007, SWID has gone on to support grassroots community women in peri-urban areas to cope with worsening poverty, malnutrition, and privatization of public land, to create community gardens and farms to create a buffer between themselves and grave food insecurity. They have also organized to negotiate with local authorities for land access, housing support and improved access to essential basic services.  As a mutual self-help organization of women, they focused on how to face the challenges in front of them industrial closures translating into insufficient employment, rising infections of HIV AIDS leading to women becoming widows and even poorer, and rising rural urban migration that caused more overcrowding. Through Joyce’s leadership women got organized to create a collective voice to get their situation and voices heard.

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