Moving messages continue to come from people of all walks of life as they pay their respects to Brenda Kyeyune (pictured), the 35-year-old Ugandan UNICEF worker, who was killed in a bomb blast in Somalia on Monday.
“She was a very hardworking person. Easy to get along with and knowledgeable about behavioural communication” recalled Faith Nassozi Kyateka, a former workmate and friend at Marie Stopes, in an emotional tone as she spoke on phone about Kyeyune’s passing .
More than just an aid worker
For several years, Kyeyune had been building quite a profile in the area of public health. Information from her LinkedIn account reveals she was a graduate of Makerere University, where she specialised in Social Work and Social Administration.
She also had a Master’s degree in Public Health from St George’s University-Grenada and spoke two foreign languages – French and English.
Her professional career spanned various fields.
In 2009, she started out as a trainer and community mobiliser with JHU/CCP -Health Initiatives for the Private Sector Project before joining John Hopkins University, Centre for Communication Programmes-Health Communication Partnership in August 2011 as a Programme manager, family planning.
She later joined Marie Stopes Uganda as a behaviour change communication and marketing specialist in July 2012 before finally being recruited by UNICEF-Kenya as communication for development specialist.
Since Monday, tributes have been trickling in and many have taken to social media to honour her life.
“… Brenda Kyeyune I don’t want to believe that you are gone. I hope tomorrow someone calls to tell me that it was some silly joke! … It is too sad,” notes Margaret Kabali, a friend on Facebook.
“Brenda Kyeyune you died a hero. You are in a better place RIP,” says Marieane on Twitter.
In December 2013, Brenda Kyeyune on her official twitter account retweeted:
“Life is very short, so forgive quickly, believe slowly, love truly, laugh loudly and always remember to thank God for it all.”
Her life was cut short indeed.
Nigeria: On 26 August 2011, the United Nations’ Headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria was attacked by a suicide car bomber, killing at least 18 people, injuring dozens, and causing massive devastation to the building itself. Boko Haram claimed responsibility.
Somalia: On 23 December 2011, 2 aid workers and a 3rd colleague were shot to death in Mataban Town in the Hiban Province in central Somalia. The aid workers, who worked for the World Food Programme, had been monitoring distribution of food and camps for internally displaced peoples. United Nations’ operations in Mataban were temporarily suspended, pending an investigation.