Tracey Lukaza (BS)

NMWN Intern

My name is Tracey Lukaza. I recently received a Bachelor of Science in International Relations & Diplomacy and Law from the University of Derby. I worked at The Nottingham Muslim Women’s Network for about 4 months. I applied through the University of Derby and got such a great experience that enhanced my knowledge and skills of what it means to be a woman campaign officer.
The Nottingham Muslim Women’s Network immediately inspired me to apply for the position because of their missions and the role I would be playing in it. The goal of the network is to empower Muslim women and girls by addressing attitudes that prevent them from succeeding, such as some cultural beliefs that masquerade as domestic abuse. The campaigns at NMWN shed light on important topics, like hate crimes, domestic violence, and gender-based violence. Through advocacy, capacity building, and campaigning, they work to bring about change throughout the entire Muslim women’s lived experience.
My first day, I was quite reserved. This was my first internship. I was really scared, but my coworkers and my supervisor provided a space where I felt free to express myself and ask any concerns. I initially thought I would only focus on learning about what it means to be a campaign officer, but I ended up learning about everyone’s role in the network. I was so confident in what I had learned that I found myself speaking about it at a health event the network was invited to, and much to everyone’s knowledge I’m such a quiet person so it was amazing having the opportunity to learn and see how much I can contribute and grow in a work in an environment other than school. This experience  has developed my confidence as a communicator, it has enabled me to become open minded and knowledgeable by meeting different people, and it has given me the ability to not shy away from being an inquirer, I have asked questions and I have received answers and support throughout the internship that has helped broaden my range of working capacity and responsibilities that go beyond my academic success.
This internship has been tremendously beneficial to me. I learned about the processes of establishing a campaign and how having a network of people in your community is such a great way of ensuring success in expanding and developing a campaign project. Not only did I get to work with new people, but I also had the opportunity to learn more about myself at the Equipped2Succeed events we hosted on Wednesdays, where we talked about and learnt how to empower ourselves. On my first day of work, I was assigned to produce a report on ’10 influential Muslim women’ for the network’s 10th anniversary, which allowed me to learn about different Muslim women around the world and the impacts they make both inside and outside of their communities. By doing this, I was able to broaden my perspective on the various cultures from which Muslim women hail, as well as their struggles to advance women’s rights or simply gain recognition for their creative endeavours.
I am extremely grateful to have worked alongside Zaynab and the rest of the team. I am thankful that they have given me the opportunity to demonstrate the skills I gained at university and to also enhance my abilities through working with others. It was a great experience, I highly recommend people to join and volunteer in order to truly understand the incredible work Nottingham Muslim Women’s Network does to ensure projects and support services are available to cater for Muslim women in and outside the city of Nottingham.