Women’s Global, in consult with Literacy Aid Uganda, a national program promoting literacy throughout Uganda, hasdeveloped a program that is effective and responsive to the needs of our clients. “When a woman learns to read andwrite, her whole world changes; possibilities and opportunities are created.”
As of August 2011, 400+ women have participated in our literacy program; 50 women sat for national exams in September 2010,with 100% passing the national literacy examination, receiving a certificate from the Ministry of Education. Our 2011 training began March 1 thru October, serving 100 women and 97 children. Our goal in 2012 is to increase capacity to 200 women.
In addition we are including child care for one child for participant. Often times this is the only structured program where children are able to participate in a reading and writing and play program.
Our literacy program is one of our most critical offerings; access to basic education is a human right, and the outcomes from providing women this opportunity has been meaningful, relevant and transformative. Women report they are now able to communicate with banking and other officials, help their children with homework, sign their name and communicate more effectively to their customers and peers. Attached is a letter from one of our clients expressing the importance of the program in her life.
Please continue to support this vital program in 2012! On behalf of the women we serve in post conflict northern Uganda, thank you.
The literacy program is an important part of the WGEF microfinance Credit Plus model: “When you give a woman a microcredit loan the health and well being of her entire family increases, when you teach a woman to read and write, her whole world opens up.” - Karen Sugar, Founder and Director
Since April 2008, WGEF has provided an 8 month literacy training, with over 350 women participating! In 2012 our hope is to increase our class size to 200 women. It costs just $50 to provide critical literacy opportunities for a woman who desires to learn to read and write, enabling her to paricipate in her community and create a brighter future for herself and family. Below is an excerpt from a client letter:
"Im 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.
I was among the many girls who were abducted by Joseph Kony’s Rebels LRA and I spent 8 years with them in busy I was brutally beaten, forced to carry heavy loads and was forced to kill one of the girls whom we were abducted with using a stick imagine! I was raped and forced to sleep with many rebels to the extent that I don’t know the fathers of my 2 beautiful kids whom I came back with after being rescued by government forces.
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 and I m staying with a man 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."
Providing critical support and opportunties, women are rebuilding their lives, experiencing increased empowerment and security. Please help us provide this critical programming to women in 2012!
In March of 2011 our 4th literacy class began. We have 100+ women and 97 children participating this year. This program is critical to the women of the region who were unable to attend school, learning basic literacy skills, due to the long, brutal civil insurgency in northern Uganda. Many of our clients are formerly abducted women, who were forced to be sex slave, child soldiers, and LRA (Lords Resistance Army) 'wives'.
Understanding that language can be a very elitist activity, it is critical that women learn to read and write, creating a balance between those in power and authority and our clients. Our clients know that to be successful, independent and leaders in their communities they need to read and write in English (English is the formal language in Uganda). To conduct basic business transactions at the bank and with customers, it is vital that our clients have basic literacy skills.
Please help us continue this important and impactful program for women in Gulu, northern Uganda.
One program, essential for the success and empowerment of women in our program is literacy. This is hands down the best way to create the potential for self determination and increased quality of life. Our clients report they are now able to communicate with customers, banking and community officials, help their children with homework and feel a sense of accomplishments and pride.
Over the past three years, we have served over 275 women. Providing the chance to learn to read and write, tell time, communicate, addressing inequity and allowing women to live up to their potential. Our focus on literacy and leadership has created the opportunity for women to engage in their community, becoming advocates and political candidates. This political season five WGEF clients are running for office, local and regional district offices. This is an outstanding example of empowered women challenging the entrenched patriarchy responsible for gender inequality and marginalization of women thru political means, creating the systemic changes that will move her community forward in peace and dignity.
"When you teach a woman to read and write, her whole world opens up." Karen Sugar, WGEF Founder
We have 100 women ready to participate in our program this year beginning in February 2011. We hope you are inspired and will help us continue this life changing opportunity for women in post conflict northern Uganda.
Having just arrived home from Gulu, I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on what is happening in northern Uganda. But first I want to share a story with you. Grace has been in our program for a little over a year. I took a walk with Grace, because she has been doing so well in the program we wanted to highlight her in a news story. Grace shared with me that she had been abducted and was in the bush for over 8 years where she was repeatedly raped. She has three children. When she escaped two years ago, she returned only to be abandoned by her family and ostracized by her tribe. This is not uncommon for women who have been sexually assaulted, they not only carry the physical and emotional scars of their experience, but are then shunned and turned away from their family. Grace was invited to join an existing group, which provided her the necessary support and safety. Today, she is on her 4th loan cycle, her business as a fruit and produce vendor provides her the opportunity to send her children to school, experience increased economic activity, and food security. I found Grace to be a strong advocate for our program and a very courageous woman. I looked at photos of Grace when she first joined the program, and her photos exposed a sad, scared woman. Our Program Director told me that she had trouble looking you in the eye. To speak with Grace today, you come away inspired and in awe of how well she is doing. Watching her answering the journalist question with a quiet dignity and confidence, reminded me once again of why we are doing this and how critical this program is to the women in northern Uganda. The following are highlights of what I found: * After touring several agro projects, I was impressed by several things: one, the cooperative way that the women work the land together; two, the size and scope of the projects; three, several of our clients also received cows from Heifer International, and have created a diverse business opportunities for themselves, and four the sophisticated knowledge of best practices regarding the land, seeds, soil and crop diversity. * Margaret created a preschool with her loan two years ago; she now has 140 students and has hired 5 teachers. This is a testimony to the spirals of economic empowerment our Credit Plus program are creating. * Many local political and tribal leaders attended the Kiko Po Mon, Creating a Voice for Women, event on Saturday October 2nd. Several of them gave speeches, praising the program and suggesting that the impacts are far and above more positive for the community than other big, entrenched NGO's. One woman leader gave each participating group a cash prize for their effort. This was a very important for the community, our clients, WGEF and staff.
Thank you for your support of women and families, we hope you will continue to support sustainable development and economic justice!
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Founder and Director