At the heart of Uganda’s busiest newsroom, keeping a finger on her country’s pulse is Barbara Kaija. Her role as editor-in-chief of Uganda’s leading English daily newspaper, New Vision, requires her to constantly make critical decisions influencing the news millions of people read. She’s not afraid to cover controversial issues, and she’s not shy about promoting her faith.
“My job is not just a profession but a calling, and I need to use every opportunity possible to influence others for Jesus,” she says. As a teenager, Barbara accepted Christ, but it wasn’t until 2008 when she attended Haggai Institute on Maui that she realized the impact her faith could have in the workplace.
“At first, I wrestled with spending a month away from my husband and children and my many responsibilities. But one of my first devotions while there was about obedience, and it brought me to tears. I just had to obey God’s leading. I didn’t know why and I didn’t know how, but I was there. I quickly found a whole new reason for life and a new burden for my country,” she remarks.
“Haggai Institute helped change the way I was living life — I learned how to do it Jesus’ way and blended faith into every aspect of my life.” Any prominent position in the media puts a leader in the public arena.”
Barbara says, “Haggai Institute has had a lot of influence on my political editing. As the leading media house, we can influence the political agenda either positively or negatively. Our coverage must therefore contribute to sowing seeds of peace, healing, and development over the land. This is important for a country like Uganda, which has a sad history of political violence.”
Barbara’s impact reaches far and wide. She’s an elder and advisor for Christian fellowship at the Vision Group, teaching other Christian media workers about witnessing each week. She also mentors teenage girls in rural Uganda. To date, she’s witnessed to more than 600 girls. But it’s her job that allows her to daily influence people for Christ.
“The Vision Group is the largest media house in Uganda, and with our media platforms, we reach most corners of the country. Other believers and I make editing decisions that often allow Christian values of love, mercy, kindness, and goodness to reach our hurting world.”
Recalling recent breakthroughs in Africa’s media, Barbara underscores the importance of using media to evangelize and disciple Africa. She says, “I am convinced that secular media, even more than religious media, is a great platform for evangelism. We need media workers who are aware that their profession is a calling and who can use their day-to-day secular work to evangelize.”
As part of the management team of New Vision, Barbara also directly impacts all the programming done through the Vision Group. “For each broadcast station we’ve started at the Vision Group, we bargained to have at least one Christian program,” she remarks. “Five of our radio stations and three TV stations have a Christian program.”
The vision she gained at Haggai Institute still permeates her life. She claims, “Haggai Institute’s donors may not speak our local African languages, but every single day, by sponsoring the education of a few editors, the donors reach impenetrable villages for Christ.”
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