For her efforts to promote women’s rights in Tanzania, Maimuna Kanyamala has been named as the 2011 Tanzanian Woman of Courage by the U.S. embassy in the African country.
Kanyamala is the executive director of Kivulini Women’s Rights Organization in Mwanza.
The organization has 23 staff members. Its donors include Hivos, the American Jewish World Service, Terre des Hommes, the Better Way Foundation, Anti-Slavery International and Oxfam GB.
“It was a big surprise. I take it as a big thing and I think it comes with a lot of respect,” Kanyamala said of the award, according to local news outlet The Citizen.
The 56 year-old mother of three added: “I see this award as a challenge to me and the people I am working with. People are now looking at us and would like to see what difference the award will make in our work.”