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Nansubuga: Activist against cancer, a change agent

By Richard Wetaya

Added 5th June 2019 09:28 AM

A far cry from your usual teacher, Nansubuga has for the last 13 years, been engaging her learners in meaningful and worthwhile community improvement initiatives, like organizing cancer screenings for women and schoolgirls, on top of inspiring them and creating change agents.

Nansubuga:  Activist against cancer, a change agent

Nansubuga doing research in the Gayaza High School Library (Photo by Richard Wetaya)

A far cry from your usual teacher, Nansubuga has for the last 13 years, been engaging her learners in meaningful and worthwhile community improvement initiatives, like organizing cancer screenings for women and schoolgirls, on top of inspiring them and creating change agents.


For the last 16 years, Julie Tracy Nansubuga has been breaking the mound as a teacher, through regularly engaging her learners, beyond the classroom.

A far cry from your usual teacher, Nansubuga has for the last 13 years, been engaging her learners in meaningful and worthwhile community improvement initiatives, like organizing cancer screenings for women and schoolgirls, on top of inspiring them and creating change agents.
She always encourages learners to be change agents in their communities.
She is a professional teacher and handles Literature and English at Gayaza High School.
She has groomed so many students as change agents. One of them is
Take a case of Cynthia Damalie Nkinzi, who won a Yale Young Africans Scholars Scholarship in 2018, for instance.
 ansubuga on the right with some of her ayaza igh school learners and a young teenage mother and  her mother Nansubuga on the right with some of her Gayaza High school learners and a young teenage mother and her mother  (Photo by Richard Wetaya)


Nkinzi who is currently undergoing training in Ghana under the auspices of Yale University won the scholarship on account of her work in the community; principally, in supporting young vulnerable girls at Sitankya Primary School, to stay in school.
By all accounts, most girls were dropping out of school because their parents could not afford fees.
Nkinzi was the first scholar from Gayaza to win the scholarship, but all, with the guidance of Nansubuga.
Nkinzi is scheduled to leave for Yale University in July this year, where she will be pursuing Degree in Applied Economics and Engineering. The Yale Young African Scholars Scholarship program is designed for African Secondary School students who wish to make a meaningful impact as young leaders on the continent.
Three other girls under Nansubuga's tutelage [Patience Nambazira -Yale young African Scholars scholarship 2019, Winfred Lakareba Mangwi and Gladys Priscilla Kirabo - African Leadership Academy Class 2019] also won the same scholarship; through the guidance of Nansubuga.
Nansubuga has also taught girls at Gayaza High to help other students in primary schools nearby. This is a practice the school also applies in other classes, with Senior One students at times going to the neighboring primary schools, to inspire them.
Nansubuga's group of girls helps pupils at Side Note Primary School and Gayaza Church of Uganda Primary School, to at times get scholastic materials, from their counterparts in Gayaza High.

Nansubuga with one of her learners on her right visiting a community cancer awareness center in Mukono (Photo by Richard Wetaya)

Ronald Ddungu, the deputy headteacher of St. Mary's College, Kisubi and former supervisor of Nansubuga at Gayaza High says, "Her (Nansubuga's) exceptional execution of her duties, beyond the assigned call of duty at school, make her an exceptional teacher.
"Nansubuga develops the capacity to transform education beyond academics and includes real-life learning situations. She has been involved with her learners in several cancer awareness programs around the country," says Ddungu.
 He adds, "Nansubuga has a clear focus on cancer awareness especially within less advantaged communities around the country.
She looks keenly at teaching her students on how they can support their communities and carry out cancer risk awareness."
Ddungu was Nansubuga's deputy headteacher at Gayaza High School until May this year when he was transferred.
He was her immediate supervisor in all the projects she bore a hand in.
Ddungu adds, "Nansubuga worked with our community partner school, known as Sitankya Primary School, 11km away from Gayaza town and mobilised parents of children to this primary school for cancer awareness programs," he narrates.
He adds, "She reached out to the doctors at the cancer institute in Mulago who accepted to visit and offer much-needed education; as well as cancer screening for women. Those who were found in need of treatment were referred to Mulago for further management."
Mary Clains, a law student at Makerere University, who was Nansubuga's student says, "Nansubuga develops the capacity of her learners through real-life learning situations.
As patron of Debate Club and 3C (Children Caring about Cancer) Gayaza High School, she identifies community enhancement opportunities for club members."
She volunteered at the Uganda Cancer Institute during her Senior six vacation.
Clains adds, "The Debate Club is currently participating in Conferences such as African Leadership Academy Model African Union in South Africa and Uganda Model United Nations annually.
Members of the 3C Club are also positioned us to volunteer with Uganda Child Cancer Foundation during the holidays. Being part of the above activities enabled me to network, get work experience and volunteer."
Annet Kabbogoza Musoke, Gayaza High school's deputy headmistress says Nansubuga's community outreach initiatives make her stand out.
"By training and mentoring her young learners in such activities, Nansubuga not only gives them exposure but also builds in them a spirit of social responsibility," Musoke says.
Fredrick Kiyingi, the Wakiso District Education Officer, says, "Nansubuga is an exemplary teacher, who has made very important contributions to the growth and development of young learners in Wakiso, through her initiatives,"
More so, Grace Kabunga a member of Gayaza High's Parents and Teachers Association says, "Nansubuga is a teacher who looks out for the potential of learners beyond academics.
At Gayaza High School, she is the poster child of the 3C (Children Caring about Cancer) club; a club which has transformed the lives of many young learners. Many of the students in this school are now fully involved in cancer awareness in communities around the country."
She adds that Nansubuga is the reason why Gayaza High's number of students have won scholarships abroad.
Meanwhile, Nansubuga is also a good mentor, who inspires and instills confidence in learners.
On the parental response to her initiatives. "The response has been positive," Nansubuga notes.
Nansubuga says, "There has been overwhelming support from the parents in the community. Many parents come to me for their daughter's recommendations for university admission. Others even call me to counsel their daughters in the event of challenges when they leave school."
Nansubuga also engages her Senior Two class at Gayaza High school in the ‘Garbage to Gold" Classroom project.
The project started in September 2018 with 68 students. The students were divided in eight groups and each student was tasked to come up with ideas on what kind of items they can make out of waste material. Thereafter Nansubuga requested the school administration to increase on the numbers of garbage bins around the school.
"In this project, students learn how to use non-bio- degradable rubbish to make useful items," Nansubuga says.
 ansubuga middle and one of her learners left rewarding a young female learner at itankya rimary chool who excelled in  after she was supported to stay in school hoto by ichard etaya Nansubuga [middle] and one of her learners [left] rewarding a young female learner at Sitankya Primary School, who excelled in PLE after she was supported to stay in school (Photo by Richard Wetaya)


Writing and debates
Through the years, Nansubuga has encouraged her learners to make their voices heard in both local and international writing competitions such as the annual Queen's Commonwealth Essay Writing Competitions, and the Trust for Sustainable Living (TSL) mainly focusing on Sustainable development goals.
Nansubuga was recently awarded by Trust for Sustainable Living (TSL, for spear-heading the teaching of Sustainable development goals in School.
She also engages her learners through the iLearn Girl Rising project.
iLearn Girl Rising project, also known as the International Education and Resource Network is a forum where educators and learners are linked, on a global network.
"The iLearn focus is to train learners for the global village other than just the local setting, especially through project-based- learning," Nansubuga says.
The iLearn conviction is that students should learn as they create and solve community problems. She says, With the rest of the educators on the forum, we exchange and share ideas, and also develop and work on curriculum-based projects."
Academic life
Nansubuga is a graduate teacher.
She graduated from Makerere University with a Bachelor's Degree in Education majoring in English Language and Literature in 2008.
Later on, in 2009, she joined Uganda Martyrs University-Nkozi, to pursue a post-graduate Diploma in Development Studies.
In 2016 Nansubuga won a scholarship for Pan- African Leadership Training by the US state government.
Work life
Nansubuga says, "I started teaching in Uganda Martyrs High School, Rubaga in 2001. The demand for results was high and in many ways, it shaped my professional journey." 
In 2004, she was put on the Government payroll and posted to Namagunga Secondary School in Mukono District. She was later sent to Mengo S.S in 2009 before joining Gayaza High School.
What others say 
Damalie Nkinzi- Yale Young Africans Scholars Scholarship winner.
Nansubuga encourages her learners to create change in their communities and to improve their livelihoods. That is what sets her apart.
Fred Ssemwanga-Teacher at Sitankya Primary School
Nansubuga is an exemplary teacher, who can also write plays and also act. One of the other learners she taught-Solomon Kaweesa is doing well on television.
Golden Tips
•    Read and be knowledgeable. Teachers can never stop learning lest they become irrelevant. 
•    When you help people, do not go fishing for compliments.
•    Always find ways to engage learners in worthwhile community projects.

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