Today, we speak with Hilton Prize Scholar, Lilian Nyalusi (Tanzania, Org: Norwegian Refugee Council) from our 2023 Cohort of the Hilton Humanitarian Prize Laureate Virtual Leadership Institute. Lilian is the Information, Counseling, and Legal Assistance Project Coordinator at the Norwegian Refugee Council in Tanzania, and has worked towards women’s rights and gender-based violence, as well as supported women’s housing, land, and property rights in Tanzania through provision of legal counseling and drafting. 

Lilian, your efforts towards women’s rights in Tanzania are an inspiration to us all! Thank you for sharing with us your global impact, as well as your personal and professional growth. We wish you the best with this impactful work!


Name: Lilian Nyalusi

Hometown: Arusha, Tanzania

Current Role at Organization: Information, Counseling and Legal Assistance (ICLA) Project Coordinator at Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Tanzania

Social Issues: Access to Justice, Women’s Rights, and Human rights

Fun Fact: I like adventures and exploring new ideas.


What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership is accepting responsibilities for enabling others to achieve shared goals. As leaders, we encourage others to take the actions and responsibilities they need to succeed. To be a great leader, it is necessary to learn and cultivate the skills in order to grow personally and professionally.

Radio programme on legal identity and access to civil documentation at Radio Kwizera (a local community radio) at Kibondo District, Tanzania

How is the Hilton Humanitarian Prize Laureate Virtual Leadership Institute supporting your professional and leadership development?

The leadership skills gained from the Hilton Humanitarian Prize Laureate Virtual Leadership Institute will allow me to motivate others. This program is helping me to increase my understanding on a sense of purpose to connect to my work and perform well; be open, create positive change, take responsibility, be passionate about work, make unselfish decisions, and have a vision and focus that others can look up to; and improve my decision-making skills, communicating, problem-solving, and adaptability. All of this will help me stand apart from others and shine as a leader–and an inspiring leader is a leader that people want to follow. I am also learning to persuade and influence people, which enables me to have the ability to tackle challenges, and improve my thinking ability through innovative and creative ways of thinking.

The mentorship and coaching sessions with specialists at BetterUp has improved my communication skills, my behavior and growth mindset, and attitude and wellbeing; enhanced my team building skills, communication skills and developing myself, others which are key elements in leadership development; and helped identify my strengths and areas for improvement, and set realistic and ambitious goals for myself.

Training to community leaders on the procedures for Legal Identity and access to civil documentation at Nduta Refugee Camp, Tanzania

What tips can you can share with us about how to succeed in VLI?

My advices are to:

  • strengthen your communication skills (ability to actively listen to other peers feedback);
  • develop your team to trust in you by encouraging open dialogues and be willing to communicate appropriately;
  • be accessible and approachable whenever possible;
  • develop emotional intelligence by understanding other emotions and showing empathy;
  • remember that the use of technology is key–be active in group works, giving and receiving feedback to other peers, use of social media to connect with other scholars; and
  • build and foster relationships

What is your Leadership Project and why does it matter?

My Leadership Project, “Strengthen community response on Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) in Kibondo District” matters because it will challenge the negative discriminatory social and cultural norms that contribute to VAWG and which prevent survivors from seeking support; strengthen law enforcement and government agencies to better implement policies and improved practices to prevent and respond to VAWG; and ensure access information and integrated support (legal, psychosocial, information) to women and girls at risk of, and survivors of violence.

Thank you, Lilian, for sharing your leadership journey with us. We are excited to see you continue to inspire positive change in the future!

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Photos from Lilian’s personal archive.