Apply to Join
Mar 10, 2020

International Women's Day: Meet Violet from Uganda

Violet in her backyard garden
Violet in her backyard garden

“You cannot change your past but you can influence your future.”

This is the motto that has fueled Violent (18), a beneficiary on Act4Africa’s Adolescent Mothers training program at Kathy's Centre, Eastern Uganda.  This International Women's Day we bring you her story of determination and aspiration.

“Having lost both parents at very a tender age, I felt like the world had closed in on me; with all my hope gone and future seemingly cut.  Indeed their death meant an end to my education while I was just 14 years, as none of my close relatives could carry on paying for my school fees as my parents did.

“My life became so miserable. As is the common norm for most young girls in my community, there was pressure for me to marry, since I had already dropped out of school; something that I almost gave into. However, I saw the troubles and miserable life that teenage girls in my community go through, as a result of being married off at an early age, and this gave me a change of mind.

“My determination in refusing to marry at an early age did no go down well with some of my relatives,  as they felt it was a denied opportunity for them to gain materially from the would be in-laws, as the custom is in our tradition.

“However, living in a community where in every 10 homesteads you find 5 are teenage mothers, I have many teenage mother friends.  They luckily introduced me to the weekly health education, entrepreneurship and skilling program that Act4Africa runs for young adolescent mothers.

“I was excited to be part of this weekly program, as it rekindled my once childhood aspirations, that had faded, of becoming a powerful businesswoman in this community of Mayuge.

“The entrepreneurship skills offered during the weekly session have enabled me set up a backyard vegetable garden and once the vegetables are grown, I will be in position to sell and earn.

“I am surely grateful for this opportunity, that has helped unlock and discover the hidden potential in me.”

Act4Africa is competing for a place on the GlobalGiving Girl Fund. Help us make our way up the leader board by donating to this project on or before 13th March. If successful the funds received will allow us to put upto 45 adolescent mothers through our comprehensive training programme at Kathy's Centre, empowering and enabling them to take control of their future just like Violet.

Violet's vegetable garden
Violet's vegetable garden
Violet tends her garden
Violet tends her garden
Violet makes books to gain an income to invest.
Violet makes books to gain an income to invest.

Links:

Feb 26, 2020

Unlocking treasure hidden in the souls of children

Lucky, age 5, now in her third and final year.
Lucky, age 5, now in her third and final year.

Welcome to another year at Kathy’s Kindergarten, we are super excited to have sailed through our first 2 years so well, cheers to you for your support! 

We have something exciting to share with you! Meet our kindergarten child, Lucky, who has spent the past two years enjoying and sharing love while at Kathy Kindergarten school.

Lucky has swiftly moved with us since year one and has a lot of social and academic experience in her early life as a result.

Lucky is a first born in a family of 2 and her little sibling, Fortunate, is also here with us at Kathy Kindergarten. How lovely is it to have both children follow each other at our school? It shows a lot of confidence and love of the parents to the school.

Lucky started school when she was three years old, now aged 5, she is in ‘top class’. Teacher Jennifer says, 

"She is such a lovely girl who loves sharing with friends, helping others and learning new things, she is one of our top stars: her desire for learning and helping others to learn is mind-blowing!

We have planted in Lucky the good seeds of a bright mind and we are confident that, when she graduates this December, this will give her a firm foundation for a bright future. When she leaves and joins another level of education in another school we know she will represent us so well.

Lucky’s parents are also very happy and proud of Kathy’s Kindergarten. Her mother said

“I am so proud of how far you people have brought my child with her great improvement in her daily being as a child, thank you very much.”

Meanwhile, in this third year we are also extraordinarily excited to welcome new children into the kindergarten and spending time with them over the past few weeks has been an uplifting source of joy in our hearts. They can trigger strong emotions in us, as teachers that makes us smile, laugh or even just stare in bewilderment!  The unfiltered nature of a child’s mind leads them to do and say lots of surprising things! All of this makes us have some sweet things to say about them in return.

Teaching these children from day one and helping them learn gives us lots of memories that sometimes we store directly in our tear ducts. Teaching these young children can help us teachers also to learn many things. No-one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the souls of these young children. At Kathy’s Kindergarten we strive to unlock that treasure as we prepare bright minds to form brighter futures for all those who pass through the hands of the school.

We continue to strive for a bright future for our children to build a better tomorrow for us all.  Thank you for helping us reach our goal!

Lucky's young sister Fortunate joins Kindergarten
Lucky's young sister Fortunate joins Kindergarten
Fortunate & Lucky with teacher Joanne & friends
Fortunate & Lucky with teacher Joanne & friends

Links:

Dec 17, 2019

From Sex Worker to Community Mentor

Get a match! New recurring donations in December!
Get a match! New recurring donations in December!

Brenda, a resident of a fishing village in Kasese District, Western Uganda, is one of the 65,000 girls Act4Africa aims to reach through our ‘Brighter Futures’ GlobalGiving project. Aged 21 years, she was a victim of peer influence that led her to drop out of school and into sex work, yet now she has seen her future again after the training and workshops by Act4Africa.

Can you help us transform the lives of more girls like Brenda by donating monthly to our project?  If you start a recurring donation this December, your 4th donation will be matched by an anonymous GlobalGiving donor!

Find out how donations to our project have transformed Brenda’s life, in her own words…

“I found myself out of school because it was the order of the day which I adopted too, having seen most of my age mates out of school and working at the lakeshore landing site.  I was attracted to join them as these girls were smart and seemed happy.  I left school and joined some of my friends to do business of selling food stuffs and packaged cold water.  My decision to drop out of school did not get much resistance from my parents since my father is a fisherman and always away from home and my mother a fishmonger who travels to markets to do business. This gave me a lot of time to do all I wanted before my mother returned home late in the evenings. I dropped out of school during my second year at secondary level though I regret a lot this decision of leaving school because life has not been easy as I expected.

“My parents stopped supporting me because of my dropping out of school.  I struggled for basic needs, especially clothing and sanitary pads and sometimes medication, this forced me to start looking up at men for extra money since business was becoming more difficult for us, our acts made people look at us as prostitutes in my own village which brought shame to me and my family, as a result my father chased me from home and I started renting with one of my friends which made us do whatever we wanted because we were so independent. Life seemed to be well at first but things turned when all people regarded us as spoilt community members, we were denied to freely interact with our friends and even our own sisters and brothers would look at us in a different way. No man admired to marry me because of my past history and I became isolated.

“However, ever since I started attending the trainings which was brought to our community by Act4Africa. A VHT trained by Act4Africa mobilized us and assured us to benefit from the program.  Though my first expectation was money not knowledge, today I boost with pride to have been socially and economically changed by these trainings, my attitude towards my own life has completely changed and this has given me a new direction that has brought hope to my heart. 

“I realized how I was lost and left alone in the world and how I needed to change because the training exposed all I did before as risky to my own life and wellbeing. I never knew all about condoms, I entirely depended on oral pills to avoid pregnancy, I never thought of HIV, but the health education, enterprise skills and sexual reproductive health education completely put me in a position to take up a rightful decision for my life.

“The knowledge came at the right time in my life and my life completely changed, and as a result my father allowed me back home with the help of the Act4Africa community trainer and our local leader. My father then enrolled me to a local Talent and Skills Development Centre to learn Tailoring and Designing Skills course for 9 months which I completed last June and now I am self-employed.  Sometimes I am able to support my parents at home with small basics like food stuff and also my entire wellbeing is supported by the income I earn, am a financially independent lady and I hope, with time, I will buy my own sewing machines for better operations.”

Brenda is now a Community Mentor herself and actively participates in community health trainings and social activities to transform the lives of other young people in her community.  “I am looking forward to changing more lives of my peers in my village.”  She gives big thanks to the GlobalGiving supporters of Act4Africa, its local Community Mentors and partners for enabling this life changing project be implemented in her community.

Are you able to make a monthly donation to our project to help us save more girls like Brenda from a life of sex work, isolation and poverty?  Join our Year End Campaign to change the lives of 65,000 Ugandan girls.  Set up a monthly donation this December and GlobalGiving will match your 4th donation.

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.