Joanita Ayenyo smiles at the camera wearing a tweed blazer and dark framed rectangular glasses. Her hair is short and she stands outside in front of a cream colored wall with pink trim.

Joanita Ayenyo is a health advocate with a specific interest in diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases. Currently, Joanita is a referral and documentation officer at the Refugee Law Project at Makerere University, where she coordinates the medical and psychological rehabilitation of refugees and nationals who have experienced war violence. Through her efforts, more than 2,000 people have received support. She also founded Support the Diabetics Organisation (SUTEDO), a non-governmental organization based in Gulu, Uganda, after her five-year-old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She drew her inspiration for SUTEDO from the pain her family endured at the time of diagnosis and from the plight of people living with diabetes. Joanita believes that everyone deserves to live a happy, peaceful, and fulfilling life without the threat of premature death. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, she hopes to establish a full-service diabetes center that will serve her community. She also plans to nurture and showcase gifted people within her community so that they too can use their talents to help her shift the community in a better direction.

Last updated: 2021

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