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Edisa Gasi

ZOA is constantly changing. And I get to experience everything!

Edisa Gasi (65) from Uganda has been working as a driver for 47 years, almost half of which for ZOA. She was the first woman with that profession in her province West Nile. For ZOA, she drives throughout the country, from project to project.

driver in Uganda for 22 years:

Edisa is driving from project to project

For 22 years, Edisa Gasi has been the driver for ZOA employees in Uganda. "We all work together here as Christians, without problems," she says. "That's why I stayed with ZOA for so long."

Edisa was barely seventeen years old when she joined the police force. There she was trained as a driver. Edisa was the first female driver in the West Nile province. She didn’t particularly choose to become a one, although as a child she was already interested in vehicles. “I liked to put toy cars together from firewood,” she recalls.

In 1977, as a member of the police force, the young Edisa was selected to work for the president dictator Idi Amin. “I was Amin's driver for two years,” she says. “That was very difficult time. None of us wanted to do it. We were forced.”

Leaving the country

When Amin unleashed a war with Tanzania, Edisa had to leave the country with the presidential escort. She lived in Congo for five years, and left the police force. Once back in Uganda, she worked as an ambulance driver in Arua, the area in West Nile where she grew up. “I was happy to return there with my children,” she says. “But unfortunately my husband passed away shortly after we got back.”

Edisa had to raise her three daughters and three sons by herself, one of whom also died. She found a job as a driver at the first humanitarian organisation in West Nile: Community Action Programme. An NGO turned out to fit her well.

Edisa Gasi and her ZOA car

Almost an accident

Eight years later, in 2001, she applied for a job at ZOA. The Christian character of the organisation appealed to her a lot. Edisa was hired as a driver for the programme in Sudan. “That work was done from Arua,” she says. “I was driving back and forth to the projects in Sudan with the ZOA employees.”

In Uganda she was used to driving on the left, while it was on the right in Sudan. “As a result, I almost got into an accident once,” she recalls. “Fortunately, no accidents happened during all those years. Although bad roads sometimes made the work difficult.

Edisa Gasi in her ZOA car

Constant change

In 2007, ZOA’s first programme in Uganda started from the capital Kampala. Edisa moved along. Since then she has been driving throughout the country with ZOA colleagues, both countrymen and from abroad. Without a driver they wouldn’t be able to move around safely in Uganda.

“ZOA is constantly changing,” says Edisa. “New projects are always being started. And I visit them all. That makes my work incredibly interesting.” She is particularly impressed by the way ZOA is committed to education in the country. “It is so important that children can go to school. That offers them a future.”

Edisa Gasi in her ZOA car


Edisa's own children have now all graduated from university. She soon hopes to be able to spend more time with them - and her five grandchildren. “I will retire by the end of this year,” she says. “Then I'm going to live in Arua again. That's my home. I am looking forward to that, but will also miss ZOA!

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