KAMPALA – Zonta Club of Kampala of Zonta International – a Club of women professionals installs new board members and inducts new members.
Zonta International is a global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.
The five-member board was installed by Zontian Joan Kabayambi, District 18, Area Director at an event held at Kembabazi Restaurant in Naguru on Sunday evening. The new board members installed for 2022-2024 biennium include Ms. Flavia Namayengo – President, Ms. Stella Mirembe Musonge – Vice President, Ms. Ruth Byaruhanga Namara – Treasurer, Ms. Immaculate Nankya (outgoing President) as Club Secretary and Ms. Helen Mutono – Director.
Speaking at the event, Zontian Joan Kabayambi, urged the new board to commit to the values of Zonta, work hard as a club aim to contributing to achieving the Mission and Vision of Zonta international, whose theme of 2022-2024 is to build a better world for women and girls. Zontian Joan commended the board members for accepting the new role of leadership.
In attendance were new members to the club, and guests that included potential members, friends and well-wishers of the club. The Club welcomed the new members who were inducted Ms.Tuhirirwe Deborah Rwabwogo, from the Office of the President, Dr. Kanyesigye Rullonga Monicah, the Academic Registrar at Ernest Cook Ultrasound Research and Education Institute and Ms. Joselyn Tumuhirwe, an international businesswoman. The past Area Director, Zontian Alice Kituuka and incoming Area Director, Zontian Joan Kabayambi welcomed them to Zonta, which they described as an organisation of women who see and wish good for other like-minded women, and are committed to nurturing young women and girls to live to their full potential.
In her final speech, the outgoing Club President, Zontian Immaculate Nankyashared that Zonta Club Kampala which started in February 2014 is all about service.
“The word Zonta means honesty and trustworthy, so as a Zonta Club, we represent honesty and trustworthy and our mission is to uphold woman and the girl child so that they can achieve their full potential, by being their voice.”
“Zonta does this through service and advocacy, empowering them with education for a girl child to stay in school, and for the women we identify projects that can make them self-sustainable,” she added.
She also shared some of the Club’s project successes in the last 2 years of her term that included advocacy for the discriminated Batwa population to get tailored education services that support their induction into the communities around them. This was supplemented with income-generating skills for the Batwa women and girls, especially the teenage mothers.
She also revealed that the Club is currently working in the ten schools in the hard-to-reach areas of Kihihi, Kanuangu District in South West Uganda to improve school attendance during menstruation by providing reusable sanitary towels that enable them continue with their education during this period. Zonta has also built latrine/toilet structures for girls in three out of the ten schools, convenient for even disabled students.
In her first speech, the new President Zontian Flavia Namayengo first thanked the members for entrusting her with the headship role of the Club for the next two years.
She says that the Club has transformed her and “I admire the commitment of each and every single Zontian attached to the Zonta Club of Kampala.”
She applauds the achievements of the outgoing Club leaders for work that they accomplished “at the time when the world had more than we could handle (Covid-19). It’s both admirable and commendable.”
In a special way, she thanked Zontian Joan for the unmeasurable love she has for Zonta. “If you need to know anything about Zonta just shake Joan, she is Zonta itself and we thank you for always being there, she added”
Ms. Namayengo welcomed the new members that were inducted in the Club but also interested the guests at the event to be part of the Club.
The first Zonta club was founded in Buffalo, New York, USA, on Nov. 8, 1919, by a group of businesswomen under the leadership of playwright and journalist Marian de Forest. It was organized with a classification system, inspired by Rotary Club, with one woman from each business classification admitted to the local club and all members required to be employed at least 50% of the time at an executive or decision-making level in a recognized business or profession, ensuring that clubs would consist of “experts” in a broad range of fields.
The founders foresaw the benefits of having clubs made up of diverse careers, such as architects, artists, educators, entrepreneurs, executives, doctors, government officials, lawyers, pilots, scientists and more as their expertise meant clubs would offer local communities and the world optimum service, backed by a broad range of understanding and insight.
By 1920, a confederation of nine Zonta clubs was formed with 600 members. By 1923, clubs had been established in New York City, Washington, D.C., Detroit, Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio. The national president was Harriet A. Ackroyd of Utica, New York. In that year, Zonta supported its first global relief effort to care for 115,000 orphan children in Smyrna, Turkey, marking the beginning of Zonta’s dedication to international service.
Initially, all clubs were located in the United States, but by 1927, Zonta had expanded across the border to Canada. Three years later, the Confederation of Zonta Clubs became Zonta International, following the establishment of the first club in Europe. During the 1930s, Zonta International grew to 130 clubs in six countries spanning three continents and continued to push for gender equity in employment. The years after World War II saw rapid expansion to South America in 1948, Asia in 1952, New Zealand and Australia in 1965 and Africa in 1970.
Zonta’s influence grew internationally as it gained participatory status with the Council of Europe, General Consultative Status with the United Nations (UN), and working relationships with the ILO, and several UN agencies.
Currently, Zonta International is headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, USA. The organization has more than 27,000 members in more than 1,100 clubs in 63 countries all over the world.