Access to basic education is a human right and a milenium development goal. WGEF is committed to continuing to provide literacy and educational opportunities to women recoving their lives and communities in northern Uganda. Women report that not only does learning to read and write increase their economic opportunities, but also translates into better communication and less violence in their homes; it enables them to paricipate in their childrens education, and tears down elitist barriers.
Here is a quote from one of our clients:
"My name is Grace Arach, 29 years old, I have 3 children and a member of Kwo Aye Lonyo women group, I joined WGEF in 2008 and together with my members we have received 5 loan cycles. I sell fruits in the market and do some agriculture for home consumption. It was my first time to join any loan program and I feel preveraged to be part of the WGEF. I receive only 80,000shs $40 as my first loan which I invested in fruits as of now I have 300,000 $160 in my capital which I have raised through my saving and profits. I m so happy that I can now read and write my name an opportunity which I lost when I was young but when WEGF opened the free literacy program I was among the first one to register.....
After repaying our first loan I realized to have saved 12,000 $8 it was my first achievement in my life and it made me to believe in myself, we requested for the second loan until now we are still getting loans and training from the program.
My 2 children are schooling and I pay for their requirements, I rent for myself, I have bought 2 goats and rearing local chicken, now my relatives loves me... all this I was able to get it after joining the program I love the program and I wish if the program can extend to villages and reach more women since now many have shifted back and I would like to continue attending Literacy training for higher levels.
Thank you for the opportunity to share with you, by the way this is an achievement to me I used to fear to share but now I will never be silent again."
Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to social justice and women's empowerment!
Our 2013 literacy training is starting next week, and once again we are offering two levels, for our continuing students. This critical program enables women who, due to a long and brutal conflict, the opportunity to learn to read and write.
To date over 500 women have participated in the program, attending classes twice a week for eight months. When a woman learns to read and write, her whole world changes; possibilities and opportunities are created.This year we are hoping to provide 10 additional women with this transformative opportunity, totalling 110 women and their families to participate.
In addition, our literacy students participate in many community based programs, become leaders and advocates in their communiuty. Last week some of our literacy students marched in celebration of International Women's Day.
With the help of our Global Giving donors, we will be able to continue this important program. The best way to create sustainable human development and peace is to focus on women Access to education is a human right, thank you for your committment to social justice.
As a mother of seven I had no idea about how my life would be after the impact of the LRA War. I was abducted at the age of six and returned with two children, I hardly knew what to do with my life because my parents were gone. After a few years I met a man whom I thought would provide me with all the security I needed, all was a myth because he kept beating me each time I asked for money and whenever he came home drunk causing even more pain and suffering. With all the pain I wanted to return to the bush where life was much easier but whenever I looked at my children I felt they needed me because no one could look after them after I was gone. It was then that I started growing vegetables and selling but the money was not even enough to cater for our upkeep because my husband could even take it away from me.
I had one problem after the other, with no one to turn to but one day I met a group of Women Benefiting from WGEF, after several days, a peer counselor shared with me a lot about what I was going through and introduced me to the Program, due to my low self esteem I feared to be among other women but gradually I gained the courage.
My life has now changed not only because of the loans but also the trainings that I received. I managed to start up a business and a live stock project which is helping me pay school fees and other basic needs; I also bought a bicycle from the profits which has eased the transportation of my products to the market. At this point the relationship within my family has improved and we are working together to provide for our family, people in my community now respect me and I am now even a community leader, something I thought wasn’t meant for me. At last I have the hope that was long gone.
“Please fellow women, do not think whatever you went through or are going through cannot change – we can rise above poverty once equipped with the right tools”
“Akello Beatrice – Bungatira” God Bless WGEF
Beatrice is a participant in our literacy program, enabling her to create a brighter future and self esteem. K.S.
We live in a chaotic, tumultuous world, and during theholidays it may seem even more so. One thing is constant: the desire forsecurity, peace and justice. These are lofty ideals, many times clouded byviolence, politics and greed, but at the end of the day they are worth fightingfor and that is our goal. To work for social justice, sustainable humandevelopment, increased food security and women’s empowerment.
Food security and the rising prices of food staples are,and should be, main concerns for WGEF, NGO’s and all who believe in economicjustice. The past few years, global food prices have eclipsed previous global highs andcontinue to climb. This is a multifaceted issue, which requires a completetransformation of global agriculture policy. Access to healthy food sources isa human right, not a luxury. For the planet’s poorest 2 billion people, risingfood prices means going from two meals a day to one or none. This createsextreme poverty, human insecurity and violence.
WGEF is addressing this critical issue by focusing on our agriculture program, providing loans andtools for women farmers and farm workers. Our focus for 2012 is leadershipdevelopment and food security: growing our agriculture program, supporting thenew Gulu Women’s Agriculture Union, and promoting and training women to becomeleaders and advocates in their community.
As we move forward into our 5th year and beyond, our program continuesto be transformative, provocative and relevant. We hope you are inspired andcontinue to support WGEF and the women we serve in northern Uganda. Pleasecontact me with questions or conversation, 303.520.7656.
Peace to you and your family!
Karen Sugar, Founder and Director
WGEF’s2011 Wish List!
During this holiday season, you can support WGEF bydonating the following much-needed items:
1) Help us fund the Access to Justice Initiative, providing critical information on human and legal rights; including addressing gender bias and breakages in the justice chain, solutions and resources. (See GG project)
2) Tractor- $2500 to be used collectively by WGEF farmers and union members – owned andoperated by GWAU (Gulu Women’s Agricultural Union). (See GG project)
3) LiteracyProgram - $10,000 – increase our capacity to 200 women, enabling 100 additionalto join this program! (see GG project)
Since 2008, 500+ clients have completed literacy training programs, with many sitting for national literacy testing. Many of our clients missed out on learning basic reading and writing skills due to the ongoing conflict; during my first trip to Gulu, women expressed a strong desire to learn to read and write, in response WGEF’s literacy program began in July 2008. Women report being able to sign their names and exchange greetings in English (the formal language in Uganda) in business, banks, and help their children with their schoolwork, and provide better customer service.
This fall, we were able to provide our literacy participants with a solar light bulb. This will not only expand their day, but diminish the need for expensive and unhealthy fuels used for energy in most homes.
As our 2012 class finishes their studies, we look forward to our next class beginning in January 2013. We hope to include 200 women and offer two levels of study. This program is not possible without the help of GlobalGiving donors, who have provided the essential funding necessary to provide this type of life changing programming.
When a woman learns to read and write her whole world opens up.
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Founder and Director