In honor of International Day of the Woman on March 8th, we want to highlight a highly influential woman of our own – Hellen Nkalang’ango. Hellen is a SEGA board member and nurse/midwife, with a long and inspiring history of providing education and support to Morogoro’s underprivileged women and children.
Hellen’s greatest passion is to see women and girls recognize their potential and to see them build better lives for themselves and their children. This passion has driven Hellen over the last 20 years as she has co-founded various organizations to support local women in Morogoro. Back in 1996, Hellen co-founded Safina Women’s Association (SAWA) with 11 other women. SAWA helps recent widows rebuild their lives, support themselves, and in turn improve the well-being of women and children. Several years after founding SAWA, Hellen and her colleagues recognized the need to provide better education to local children. For years prior Morogoro’s schools continuously ranked at the bottom of Tanzania’s national exam results. Hellen and her team decided to tackle the issue head on and in 2000, they created the Leena Primary school. Leena welcomes and educates underprivileged children including orphans and children with disabilities.
A number of years later, Hellen met Polly Dolan , and immediately loved Polly’s idea of starting a school for vulnerable girls in Morogoro. Hellen partnered with Polly and SEGA’s inception was born. Since then, Hellen has been at the forefront of SEGA’s development. Hellen provides field support in Morogoro during development projects, educational programs and physical infrastructure; serving as a liaison with local government authorities and non-governmental organizations.
For Hellen, seeing poor and vulnerable girls receive an education at SEGA is a dream come true. When asked what piece of advice she would pass on to young girls Hellen says, “My biggest piece of advice is to stay in school and continue studying. You need to have a vision of where you want to be, and how you are going to get there”.
Thank you Hellen for your vision, commitment and passion for educating women!