In April, 2013, I had the opportunity to visit the Kasiisi Girls Project. It was wonderful to be back in Uganda. I was so impressed by all the progress since my last stay in Uganda 1.5 years ago. The Kasiisi Girls Project is doing great -- the girls are thriving and excelling in academics and sports! I had the opportunity to observe the school nurse (hired by the Kasiisi Girls Project) working with 70+ girls - she was distributing sanitary pads to the girls, speaking to them about 'risks' they might face while on spring break (men in the village who may want sexual relations with them, sanitation concerns etc) and bonding with the girls. I observed the girls ask the nurse some really great questions and they all seemed very comfortable with the nurse and the topics - which was a big change to my observations in 2011! I also had the chance to watch the Girls compete in sporting events like cross country running, track, high jump, soccer and more. The girls performed very well and all the teachers and students seemed very excited by the girl’s soccer team! I also visited with a group of 14+ female secondary scholars supported by the Kasiisi Girls Project. The girls were just finishing exams but were very excited to tell me about dorm life, academics, sports, band, computer classes and more. I loved visiting with the secondary school girls and seeing how much they enjoy boarding school and learning! It was hard to leave the Kasiisi Girls Project and come back to the USA – but I definitely left feeling very excited about all the successful and worthwhile work the Kasiisi Project is doing. Thank you all for your support and encouragement! We could not do it without you!
A special thanks to professional photographer Ronan Donovan (http://www.ronandonovan.com/gallery/the_kasiisi_project) who took some amazing photos of the Kasiisi Project! Thank you for volunteering your time Ronan!
Two or three times a year, the Director/Co-Directors of the Kasiisi Project visit our project in Uganda! I am lucky enough to be visiting the Kasiisi Project in April for 14 days! I am very excited to say hello to our wonderful Ugandan Staff and also have the opportunity to visit with the individual projects and see how everything is going! I will be meeting with the girls from the peer education groups, meeting with the school nurse and spending time with our sanitary pad project leaders. I promise to have lots of photos and stories to share upon my return. We truly appreciate all your support and could not do this important work without you!
Today, I am attaching a great photo of our 'Girl Guides' in Uganda.....don't they look wonderful!?
The Kasiisi Project has a lot to be thankful for -- especially for our Global Giving Supporters. We truly want to thank each and every one of you for your continued support and kindness. The Kasiisi Project is able to succeed in our mission every year because of your generous donations so THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!
This year the Kasiisi Project graduated its first set of preschool students! Many of those students were young girls who we hope will continue on through primary school and even to University! The preschool students were taught primarily in English which provides these young girls and boys with a big boost for the government primary school exams which are in English.
The project continues to be busy with our Peer Education, Sanitary Pad Distribution and other fun activities for young girls. We are very pleased with the progress of our girls support program and know that it is supporters like you that allow these young girls to become amazing women!
The Kasiisi Project and the Jane Goodall Institute hosted a Girls Peer Education Workshop in September. The workshop was held at the Makerere University Biological Field Station, located in Kibale National Park in Fort Portal.
The main objectives of the workshop were:
Because of your support, the Peer Education Workshop was extremely successful! There were over 30 girls from 7 primary schools who attended the workshop. 10 head women teachers from the schools also attended the workshop. The Peer Education Workshop focused on providing young girls and teachers with the skills they need to educate other school children about reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and the use of sanitary pads.
Uganda has the highest teen pregnancy rate in sub-saharan Africa with over 30% of Ugandan girls having their first baby by the time they are 18. HIV infection rates are 9 times higher in girls than boys the same age and Uganda has one of the highest maternal death rates in the world, 25% of which are from unsafe abortions. However, studies have shown that each additional year of education for girls reduces the risk of HIV infection by 7% and delays the first pregnancy by a year!
The Kasiisi Project, through your help, is assisting young girls to stay in school by providing peer education workshops, sanitary pads and extracurricular activities for girls!
Thank you for all you do for the Kasiisi Project and for the girls of Uganda!
Summer volunteers have arrived at the Kasiisi Project and the GIRLS are getting lots of special attention through new projects, events and workshops! Summer volunteers add an extra bit of excitement for the children touched by the Kasiisi Project - bringing in activities that these children would normally not have access too - like arts and crafts; debate club tournaments with prizes; field trips and more! The volunteers come for approximately two to three months and focus their attention on a specific project or activity with the children. This allows the volunteers and the children time to connect and form long lasting bonds.
The GIRLS sanitary project is continuing to be very successful. The community Nurse Lucy is visiting all of our schools on a regular basis. She hands out the sanitary pads, speaks with girls about any concerns/thoughts/questions they might have and works on basic health education with the girls. Additionally, Nurse Lucy and the Kasiisi Project are continuing to work with the girls and head women teachers from our schools on peer education - training young girls to be role models and mentors for their peers. The peer education is a fun way to get girls informed about health/sanitary issues while encouraging them to be public speakers, role models and teachers to their peers.
The Kasiisi Project's new website at www.kasiisiproject.org has created quite a buzz and we are getting a lot of feedback about the project. It feels good to know that our work in Uganda is truly touching children’s lives on a daily basis and we have you all to THANK for that. SO THANK YOU and happy summer from the Kasiisi Project!
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