Mrs Stella Ayo Odongo: Representing Eastern Africa

Ms Stella Ayo-Odongo is a child rights, child protection, social policy expert and an advocate for social justice. She is a motivated leader and development practitioner with over 20 years of progressive experience in strategic leadership, development management and programme operations. She has extensive knowledge and experience advocating for vulnerable groups such as the children, youth and the elderly.  She is a visionary pan African leader as demonstrated in the founding of national and regional level movements for social justice such as the African Wide Movement for the children, Civil Society Organizations for Peace in Northern Uganda (CSOPNU) and the Uganda Parliamentary Forum for Children (UPFC), all of which have made significant contributions to voicing issues of the affected.

Ms Ayo-Odongo has spearheaded several technical and advocacy initiatives at national, regional and international levels particularly on child rights concerns. Some of these engagements include: evaluation of the child labour programme and facilitating the development of a national child labour policy for the KURET Initiative in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Uganda, evaluation of the mental health programme for Mental Health Uganda and contributing to the generation of a National Situational Analysis Report on the situation of children in Uganda. Ms Ayo-Odongo has played a leadership role in the development the Child Protection Advocacy Report for the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), the Contextual Analysis on the Situation of Children for the International Child Support Programme, in addition to facilitating the development of a National Child Participation Guideline for Uganda.

Ms Ayo-Odongo is also a founding member of the Africa-Wide Movement for Children (AMC, an Africa Wide COS platform advocating for the rights of children in Africa. She currently heads the African Partnership to End Violence against Children (APEVAC), a multi stakeholder platform promoting a conversation on preventing violence against children in Africa.

Ms Ayo-Odongo has an MSc degree in Development Management (Open University-UK) and an Honors degree in Social Sciences (Makerere University-Uganda), and has participated in several professional development courses in political and policy advocacy training, project planning and management among others.