Staff Highlight: Vanessa
Vanessa Uwase is a consultant at DuHope. Through tremendous personal growth and faith in God’s calling for her life, she has emerged as an invaluable asset to the DuHope team. She aspires to continue using her God-given gifts to serve the vulnerable people of Rwanda. In her own words, this is her story:
“My name is Vanessa Uwase and I am a DuHope consultant. I first learned about DuHope through Duhugurane, a Belay Global work-readiness program. Through the program, I became much more self-assured and grew closer to God in the process. During the training, Jamie [Boiles] saw in me a desire to help vulnerable women. She suggested that I work with the women at DuHope and their children. These women were survival sex workers, who were trying desperately to leave sex work.
“At first I was nervous. I was young, straight out of high school, working with women much older than me, who had experiences and trauma I couldn’t imagine. At times I had doubts about my ability to do all that was asked of me; but in the end, Jamie believed that I could do it, so I had confidence that I could as well.
“I worked in many different departments at first, with many different people. These staff members would become like family to me. Floating between departments at DuHope made me a much more rounded person and allowed me to discern my calling.
“In 2016, I began my university studies. I continued to work for DuHope as much as I could during that time. Two year into my studies, I faced a sudden, devastating blow in my personal life, which shook me to my core and interrupted the stability that I had grown used to. During this time, Belay Global stepped in and offered me a scholarship, so that I could finish my studies. I am so grateful for Belay Global and DuHope’s support. My burden was lighter and I was able to focus on finishing my degree.
“Today, I work for DuHope as a consultant in education and research. I am blessed to have the opportunity to have so many different responsibilities at my age. I am privileged to be able to use my gifts to touch the lives of the women at DuHope.
“My dream is to continue improving the lives of women and people who are less fortunate than I am. I have learned from working at DuHope that you don’t have to have a certain set of skills to improve people’s lives. You offer what you have and you learn along the way. What you have is enough.”