Florence Ogola | Institute for War and Peace Reporting
I was born in Nairobi, Kenya in July 1984 where I grew up. In 1997, we moved to a town around the Mount Kenya region known as Nanyuki. I speak Swahili, a bit of French, Luo and English.
I have three siblings. My father is warrant officer in the Kenyan air force and my late mother was a chemist with Unilever Kenya.
All my life, I always dreamed of becoming a journalist, and one who would campaign for people’s rights, one who will speak for the oppressed.
As a student of mass communications at Kampala International University, I carried out detailed research on what the media did to promote human rights issues during the LRA insurgency in northern Uganda. My case study was a radio station in Gulu known as Mega FM.
I also decided to train at the radio station, so I worked as journalist and a presenter in 2007.
While carrying out my research I had to visit internal refugee camps almost every day. I thought I would have a mental breakdown due to the kind of suffering and desperation I saw every day. I would cry almost every time someone told me the kind of ordeals they went through during the insurgency. I felt privileged to be born in a peaceful country like Kenya.
IWPR has given me the chance to campaign for the rights of the people of northern Uganda and I am proud of it. Through their training, I have been able to improve the quality of journalistic work, in particular I learned to appreciate the importance of structure in story development.
I am proud to work with IWPR. My ambition has always been to ensure that human rights is properly discussed and debated and that is exactly what IWPR has enabled me to do.