Briefly, tell us who you are and where you are from.
I am called Reenah Ntoreinwe, an acid survivor and a mother of two boys aged 10 and 7 respectively. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication. I was attacked in 2009, which now makes it 8 years since that fateful day. I am from Uganda.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
I am a courageous, adventurous woman and I am an activist.
When is your birthday? What is your favorite color? Favorite activity?
My birthday is on the 14th of September 1982. My best color is purple. My best activity or hobby is traveling.
If you could do or be anything in the world, what would it be?
If I would do one thing in the world it is to become a big voice for the voiceless, especially the acid survivors.
What is a dream that you have? What is something that you are passionate about?
I am passionate about human rights. I dream to always see people free, enjoying the rights they are supposed to have.
Tell us your RISE story. What are you RISE-ing from? What are you RISE-ing to?
My RISE story is rising from SCARS to a STAR. Before I was attacked with acid, I had just started pursuing my career of becoming a journalist, but all my dreams were shattered after the acid attack. Since that time, I’ve been trying to get a job in most media houses and other companies but all would end in vain after I am called for an interview and the scars on my face would betray me.
After the acid attack and after coming from hospital, I thought my life was over. It seemed to me that no one loved me and so no one could associate with me. I decided to be alone. I didn’t want to even talk about my story because I thought I would attract more attention of people to see me and maybe they’d judge me. When the RISE team came to Uganda, I met them with other survivors and through our interactions, I felt there was a need for me to come out of this “shell” and become a voice for my fellow acid survivors.
It has helped me a lot. I now love myself and feel more confident. I will stick to this cause until the use of acid as a weapon is wiped off the face of the earth.
What is one thing you want people reading this to know?
I would like to let everyone reading this to know that acid should not be used as a weapon for violence. I am calling upon everyone to support acid survivors spiritually, financially and by helping us by signing the petition and urging your governments wherever you are to give harsher punishments to people who use acid as a weapon.
What would you say to those who think they can’t make a difference in the world?
To those who think that they can’t make a difference in life, I would like to tell you that in this world everyone has a purpose to which you were created and whatever happens does for a reason. So, the time for you to stand and fulfill your purpose in life is now.
What does RISE mean to you?
To me, RISE is a stepping stone not only for acid survivors but for all people who have been put down in one way or the other. Anyone can RISE again!
I stand in solidarity with all Acid survivors in Uganda and all around the world. TOGETHER WE CAN RISE.