The year is drawing to a close and it’s the perfect time to start reflecting on the year. You need to be able to answer questions like:

  • What worked for you in 2018?
  • What did not work for you in 2018?
  • What do you need to start doing in 2019?
  • What do you need to stop doing in 2019?
  • How do you need to be in 2019 in order to attain your goals?

You probably think that it’s way too early to start planning for the next year. We all know though, that for the better part of December we get so caught up in the fanfare that comes with the holidays. We think that we do not have enough time to step out and plan adequately for the coming year.

Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail - Prisca Motogwa Click To Tweet

Let’s go a step further by talking about money! Yes, money!

How many of us stop to reflect on how we are doing with respect to money matters?

  • Where are you financially?
  • Do you even know where you are at?
  • Are you happy with where you are at?
  • If you know where you at, did you get there by luck or was there a plan in place?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Are there some changes you need to make to your lifestyle to attain your financial goals?

Money is a complicated subject. It is an emotional subject. We all interact with it differently depending on our money personality.

If your money affairs are in disarray, it is highly unlikely that you will achieve your full potential - Prisca Motogwa Click To Tweet

According to Money Harmony – when it comes to money, you are either a hoarder, an avoider, a spender, an amasser or a money monk.

Hoarders view money as a form of security and work towards accumulating as much of it as possible. Avoiders, simply ignore money issues.

Spenders believe that they deserve every good thing and will have no qualms in buying things even when they cannot afford them.

Amassers like to have loads of money to either spend, save or invest.  Money monks view money as the root of all evil.

Which money personality are you? Find out your money personality here.

Bill Hybels says that self-awareness allows you to self-correct. When you know better, you ought to do better.

There is no ideal money personality. Each personality has its strengths and weaknesses. The most important thing is to identify which money personality you present, take advantage of the strengths that it brings and works on managing the weaknesses that it presents.

The starting point for all of us, regardless of our money personalities, is to prepare a financial plan for 2019 - Prisca Motogwa Click To Tweet

Research indicates that women are lagging behind men in financial literacy and that majority of women lack confidence with respect to money management.

Dear sister, it is very simple. If your money affairs are in disarray, it is highly unlikely that you will achieve your full potential. There will always be something dragging you back.

A study undertaken by Schwab in 2012 found that women who prepared a written financial plan were more confident with regard to money matters than those who did not.

Basically the starting point for all of us, regardless of our money personalities, is to prepare a financial plan for 2019.  Oh, and it is not enough just to put in place a financial plan, you need to live by that plan.

The Future is Female, but as females, we need to get control over our money.

After all, it’s all about the money!

 Now that you know your money personality, what are you going to do in order to attain your financial goals?

Meet Oxfams Humanitarian Superwomen Making Local Change

While humanitarian work is often portrayed as “Westerners” coming to provide aid, it’s often “local” people who do a big part of the important field work. This is because they understand the context better. 

Here are three young women who are inspiring us with their humanitarian work. While working with Oxfam, they sometimes spend weeks working in remote areas to ensure aid is provided to vulnerable communities and families. 

In this interview, we learn more about Oxfam’s humanitarian superwomen who are working hard on the field to bring impact to their societies. 

Tell us about your job

Umulkhair: I am currently a Food Security Officer working for Oxfam in Somaliland. I love my job because besides delivering food and creating livelihoods to people in need, I get to change the way communities view Muslim Somali women.

Gloria: My first ambition was to become a doctor but I instead became a water and sanitation engineer. As a WASH coordinator for the Burundi Refugee Response Program in Tanzania, my work includes conducting topographical surveys in villages.

I also design and supervise the construction of water supply systems to ensure that people don’t get sick from sanitary issues. Finally, I am a leading advocate for HIV/AIDS and women’s rights in my community.

Aimeline: I joined Oxfam in 2011 and have since been working as a Public Health Engineer assistant in South Kivu, DRC.  I was inspired to join the humanitarian field so that I could save lives and make a difference in people’s lives. For the last 5 years, I’ve made an impact on building springs and waste latrines for communities.

Gloria Kafuria

As a local NGO worker,what makes you special?

Umulkhair: Despite all the challenges the country is facing, my work at Oxfam provides me with a platform to give hope to people in need. We try to show people that both the local and international NGO world is aware of their suffering and are trying the best to provide relief.

Gloria: It feels different and great to show your own people that it’s possible to make a real difference. More than that, I feel that as a Tanzanian and Swahili speaker, I can relate better to the problems for the host communities.

Umulkhair Mohamed

Have you faced any challenges in the humanitarian field?

Umulkhair: One challenge I’ve faced is the pastoralists lack of support and confidence for young women. However, though they often believe women should lead men when they see our achievements, they apologize for their judgment.

Gloria: I also encountered difficulties leading men as a young female engineer. Many times, it felt as though I was trying to prove myself. Luckily, I had support from Oxfam which places gender equality at the center.

Aimeline: Working in sensitive areas has been difficult. One of these difficulties I faced is the fear of the unpredictable. Recently, in my current zone of intervention, the Tanganyika region, there were ethnic conflicts leading to the displacement of nearly 600,000 people. Safety is always a concern.

Aimeline Elukesu

What is it like spending significant time away from home?

Umulkhair: As a young, Somali woman, it was difficult to enter the humanitarian field because we often spend many days away from our families in remote areas. Though my father supported me, other family members were critical of this lifestyle.

Gloria: It has been tough to see all family members together and you are the only one away. But knowing that I need to support our communities with food insecurities and emergencies has helped me persevere.

Aimeline Elukesu

How has this job shaped and inspired you?

Umulkhair: This job built my self-confidence and made me have a positive impact on people’s lives. Dealing with communities who don’t have confidence in young women has also made me more mature.

I also get very inspired by the people I meet on the field. Recently, I met two divorced women who had children but no source of income. After participating in an Oxfam training and receiving a start-up kit, they started their own shop. This helped them send their children to school.

Aimeline: A few victories here and there have truly inspired me to keep going. One of my first victories was when I mastered the operation of the gravity water supply and motor adduction. I had also learned how to build latrines that improved the protection of people against waterborne diseases such as Cholera or Typhoid fever.

Gloria Kafuria

Any advice for young women wanting to work with NGO’s?

Gloria: Working with these organizations starts with getting good grades. However, it’s important to work hard and deliver the best. You should also try and find support or guidance from women in the NGO-sector. Because of the gender imbalance in many African societies, it’s important that we support each other as women.

If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.