Jan 10, 2019

Help to Grow a Girl

Fedelis (16) is one of 65,000 Ugandan girls whom Act4Africa aims to provide with a brighter future through Global Giving.  These are her words.

"I count myself privileged and lucky to be in school, as otherwise, I would have already been married off at an early age. I live near a fishing community where fishing is the source of livelihood for nearly every family, and early marriages are such a common norm.

"Coming from a large family of seven and being the eldest girl, much as my father cited financial reasons for my being out of school, girls are rarely a priority in most families for educational opportunities. 

"As I reached my teenage years, the temptations of being lured into early marriage were high due to forces in the environment surrounding my community. Besides having been married off at an early age, perhaps I would have been infected with HIV as, there are very high rates of HIV infection around the itinerant fishing community.

"The stigma and ridicule from my fellow peers of the fact that I was not in school and the many advances from the fishermen tempted me to leave my community against my wish and plan.  Then one day, Act4Africa came to my village and mobilized a group of girls and young women to form a savings and enterprise group.  As a group we set up a pig farm and began saving money into a joint bank account, arranged with help from Act4Africa.

"Over the next couple of years I became an active member of the group and was proud to become Act4Africa’s youngest Community Mentor.  I am very fortunate that Act4Africa recognized my potential to become a young leader and I am so grateful to have been chosen to join Act4Africa’s Grow A Girl programme.  Thanks to overseas sponsors I am now privileged to be in school.  This is a life changing experience that is driving my future aspirations.  I now hope to become a nurse.  

"None of this would have happened if it weren’t for supporters of Act4Africa through Global Giving.  Your  donations help support the talented and supportive Ugandan team of mentors, trainers and advisors, for whose efforts I am truly grateful – with your support, Act4Africa has made me the person I am today.

"My heartfelt thanks to you!"

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Jan 8, 2019

Chosen - 'one of a kind' thanks to your support

Chosen, a pupil at Kathy's Kindergarten, Mayuge
Chosen, a pupil at Kathy's Kindergarten, Mayuge

Meet Chosen, aged 4 in middle class, from a disadvantaged family living in Mayuge.  At Kathy's Kindergarten she is developing against the odds.  Her background in some way affected her esteem - yet since joining Kathy's Kindergarten she has become one of the most outstanding learners in class.  She owes this to your support of the unique school environment; class facilities and teachers.  Among many other things, these have greatly facilitated her in becoming 'one of a kind', that she is at present.

Her ever glowing smiles amidst the poverty at home, her imaginative skills and class performance to mention but a few are a testament of a transformation and difference that your support has to lives of children like Chosen.

In the rural community of Mayuge, where 80% of local people live on less than a dollar a day, affordable, quality education is a highly prized gift that majority parents in this community desire for their economically disadvantaged children to partake of.

It’s premised on such meagre backgrounds, that Kathy's Kindergarten is making such a difference in lives of children like Chosen.  She is fortunate that both her parents are alive - but they can hardly afford or have the ability to offer a quality education.

To Chosen, being at Kathy's Kindergarten is an early life experience that is powerfully impacting her life, her attitudes toward learning and later achievements in education.  To financially incapable parents and carers, opportunities for quality education like that being offered at Kathy's Centre, come once in life time, and once   they come, they are seized with arms wide open.

We thank you for bringing this opportunity to the disadvantaged children of Mayuge.

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Oct 12, 2018

Single young mother returns to school

Gloria at Mbarara Institute of Social Development
Gloria at Mbarara Institute of Social Development

This month we bring Gloria (20), a young mother of 1 child and a student at Mbarara Institute of Social Development Kasese, living a single life with her parents.

Gloria dropped out of school at the age of 17years when she had sat for her Senior 4 exams. She says,

"Just like any other girl in a candidate class, I was excited to finish my exams.  From peer influence and lack of knowledge about sexual reproductive health, I was convinced by friends that at S4 it was not proper for any candidate to finish without saying ‘a good farewell’ to the school since there is always likelihood of change of school at that level.  I was completely taken in by my friends’ pressure and we started escaping from school with boys, going to bars and night clubs as a way of celebrating our school life and saying bye-bye to each other.  

"I ended up engaging in unprotected sex with a boy under the influence of alcohol.  It resulted into pregnancy and when I came home from school after exams and told my parents, they immediately chased me from home to go and stay with the boy who was also struggling in S4 vacation.  This left me with no choice other than to run to my aunt’s home where I stayed till last year with my child.  It was a life of no hope for me and my child at my aunt’s place, who is a low paid primary school teacher. 

"One day I was mobilized, with other girls, to be trained and given knowledge and skills by Act4Africa under the adolescent young mothers program.  It changed my life completely, after learning that there is hope and life for young mothers, even when stigmatised by the community.  Through counselling from Act4Africa, I gained my own esteem and became assertive in many of my life decisions. 

"I called my parents after one of the trainings, asking for forgiveness and requesting them to accept me back home and take me back to school again. It surprised my parents when I mentioned joining school again.  My father made a visit to me and, after some time, brought me back home with my child.  After returning home, I continued to convince my parents that I was a changed girl with good behaviours.  I was always supportive in domestic work at home, and with time my parents accepted my request of joining school. 

"In August 2018, I joined Mbarara Institute of Social Development, Kasese, pursuing a certificate in Library and Information Science. I am now an empowered, happy, single young mother and the advocate of young women’s rights in my school and village.  I am member of an Act4Africa young mothers saving group and never miss community social trainings or workshops at school for sexual reproductive health education."

Gloria gives a big thanks to Act4Africa and GlobalGiving partners for remembering neglected young mothers and bringing hope to them. Her wish is to finish her school and upgrade up to a degree level and here she requested for continued support by Act4Africa with health knowledge and if possible she requests for financial assistance to have her education dream fulfilled.

Donate to our Brighter Futures for 65,000 girls project today, by clicking the GIVE NOW button below, and support Gloria and other girls like her.

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