I love to hear how the work we do makes a difference to young lives so it was really great to get this recent feedback from our Ugandan girls and young womens project. Brenda is one of our Community Mentors and is active in her area as an "agent for change".This is her story:
“I am proud to have been part of the training organised by Act4africa. Impregnated at an early age, I thought all my dreams had been shattered and I would never be able to pursue my career again”.
Every one judged me for having got pregnant at such an early age when I was still at school. But through Act4Africa training, I was encouraged and consequently I was able to enroll back at school.I have been able to set my goals straight again and this time am more committed to working towards them without being deceived by any person whether men or my peers.
And as a teenage mother, I want to be an agent of change for other young girls and mothers in my community through training them about realities of their lives and encourage girls who have gone through similar situations as mine to forget their past mistakes rather use them as lessons for their future
“You realize majority of us make mistakes because we are innocent about our sexual lives or we have never been told about certain things concerning our lives by our parents or people around us. I want to give a better chance to young girls and mothers to be told the realities of their lives and I want to create more people like me in my community”
Over the next 6 months we will be training another 90 young women like Brenda as Community Mentors. We hope to bring you news of their progress in future reports.Thank you so much for your support. It makes a huge difference.
This update is about Rebecca one of the young women who are benefitting from your support:
Rebecca is aged 21 year, formerly student of Kakira High School and a beneficiary of Global Giving implemented by Act4Africa Uganda
ActAfrica Uganda's team leader says: “Young Girls in rural Uganda have limited access to basic education and struggle to develop marketable personal and vocational skills. The education system is weak and combined with a lack of employment opportunities. This leaves young girls without skills or resources to fulfil their potential and increasingly vulnerable to exploitative and risky relationships.
Lack of hope and opportunity leads to high levels of school drop-out, teenage pregnancy, early marriage, exchange of sex for money and consequently HIV. As young girls struggle to navigate the years between adolescence and adulthood, little guidance is available to us and we have difficulty generating enough income to take control of our lives and remain above the poverty line. ”
Rebecca says: I want to thank Act4Africa for it has given us women a chance to learn basic life skills needed to sustain a successful and healthier life. Personally, I have been empowered to make informed decisions about my sexuality through learning basic facts of HIV/AIDS. I have also learnt to have personal goals and work hard towards them. Being part of the Act4Africa Program has also built my self esteem and confidence. And Consequently, I want to lead and inspire other young girls to pursue their goals and work towards them while avoiding the risks of getting HIV/AIDS through taking full control of their lives.
Through the training Rebecca has received she is now able to share the difference this has made to her with other girls and women in her community.
Delivering "brighter futures for girls" is an easy statement to make but not always as easy to achieve in practice. Thats why its good to hear the story of the difference Act4Africa is making to the lives of young women like Namukose, a 23 year old, former student of Tubalera Vocational Institute, who lives in Mpumude, Jinja District. She is one of the women we have trained to be a Community Mentor to help other girls in her village.
‘’Life isn’t easy when it comes to being a girl child in Uganda. And my also becoming a mother at such a tender age has also had its consequences as well. However, I thank Act4africa for training me in the skills which can enable us to sustain a good and healthier life. Most girls I know have been manipulated by men. This is due to the fact that we have poor life skills with no confidence and ability to resist. We lack information and are innocent about certain things that affect our lives. Personally I would like to take this opportunity to thank act4africa for this training. I feel am different person now with ability to inspire, lead and educate my fellow young girls. This experience has changed my mind towards life and sex. I have learnt that we as girls are just as capable and possess abilities to do whatever any boy child would do in all spheres of life. For example negotiating for safer sex. I want to inspire and empower my fellow young girls/mothers to be able to make better decisions and pursue their goals and dreams as well whether in school or out of school".
Namkose is in the photo passing on the life skills from her training to other young women and girls. Its training of trainers in action and it is bearing results in her community.
Thanks to your help and support this another life with a brighter future!