This post is part of #GivingTuesday's #WomenWhoGive series, which celebrates women who are making a difference in their communities.

Monica Nyiraguhabwa, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Girl Up Initiative Uganda  

What inspired you to start giving?

Giving has always been a part of my personality. Since I was young, I was always finding ways that I could help those that had less. Even though I grew up in poverty in the slums of Kampala, Uganda and had to struggle to pay for my school fees, there were always others that had it worse than me. Even if I couldn’t give them anything materially, I would inspire them to hope for a better future. 

What does giving mean to you? Why do you continue to give your time, talents, money, or more to your community?

Giving is my life. It gives me the energy to provide for others. I have a hard time refusing people who need my help, especially young vulnerable girls. I continue to give of myself (my time, talents, money, and more) because I don’t know another way. It gives me joy to see the impact that a little attention, love and time can do in someone’s life. There are so many girls out there that need this support. 

What would you tell others who are looking to start giving back? 

Start where you are, in your family and your community. Be a listening ear for those that need love and attention. Give what you can and remember to take care of yourself too. 

Please share a favorite moment or story from when you volunteered or donated to an organization.

Every time I see a proud and confident Girl Up girl, I feel like I have done my life’s work. Every girl needs to know that she is worthy and that she has valuable insights to share.