Photo from Act4Africa
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it increasingly clear that disasters disproportionately affect women and girls, with experts pointing to countless examples of its gendered impacts.
Another crisis that highlighted the disparity was in the mountainous Kasese District of western Uganda. Seven months of torrential rainfall between May and November caused severe flooding in the area after nearby rivers burst their banks. The floods destroyed homes, roads, bridges, crops, and other important structures. More than 10,000 people left their communities in search of refuge.
One of them was 26-year-old Birungi, who was living with her mother, siblings, and newborn baby. Before the floods, Birungi and her family earned a living from small-scale farming. When the floods destroyed their garden and the security it offered, they joined hundreds of community members who traveled to one of the 27 camps available for flood survivors. Once in the camps, pregnant women and recent mothers like Birungi faced a new set of challenges.
The floods’ gendered impacts
A local official informed Kabunzugwire Moris of Act4Africa, a Girl Fund cohort member, that pregnant mothers were giving birth in the camps without proper care due to limited resources. New mothers were walking long distances to access antenatal services and immunize their children.
Kabunzugwire and his team at Act4Africa delivered nutritious food, sanitation products, and bedding to young mothers like Birungi and their children.
The short-term relief provided by Act4Africa was vital after the floods, but it’s just the beginning. Once the women can safely return home and pandemic restrictions are lifted, Act4Africa will resume classes and workshops to help them cultivate new skills, access the resources needed to start small businesses, and assume more leadership roles in their communities.
These efforts are fueled by the generous support of donors like you who contribute monthly to GlobalGiving’s Girl Fund. As the pandemic and other disasters continue to impact every aspect of life for many people around the world, the Girl Fund cohort continues to support women who are navigating the challenges.
Here are more examples of how your generosity is fueling the Girl Fund cohort:
- Days for Girls International is providing vital resources, including menstrual health education, face masks, and menstrual health kits to 2,509 women and girls in Nepal’s Kalikot District.
- Women’s Global Education Project’s leadership program is creating new ways for women to protect their peers from gender-based violence (GBV) in rural Senegal. Students have developed community radio programs to educate their peers on GBV and formed neighborhood watch programs and peer support networks.
- Generation for Change and Development is delivering donkeys, sheep, and goats for income-generating projects run by women in Kenya. Others received sewing machines and merchandising lessons to boost their livelihoods.
- Sheepcare Community Centre is continuing to support women in Kenya by providing clean water, a safe place for students to study, and crocheting lessons.
- Global Water Challenge is merging gender equality and water access in Rwanda. The organization has helped 536 families access clean water, and they are also organizing gender equality and family planning training in compliance with local COVID-19 regulations.
- The Mariposa DR Foundation is planning pandemic-safe beach escapes for girls in the Dominican Republic. The trips help the girls maintain their mental health and stay connected during these otherwise isolating times.
Your generous support of the Girl Fund makes these efforts possible. Thank you for your continued commitment to gender equality, and I look forward to sharing how else you made a difference in three months.
Sami + the GlobalGiving Team
Photo from The Mariposa DR Foundation
Photo from Days for Girls International