Help 200 women in northern Uganda learn to read

by Women's Global Empowerment Fund
Literacy Class
Literacy Class

Greetings! 

Welcome to our literacy program in 2017; you may not recognize it as our goal this year is to provide 1500 women with the opportunity to participate in our literacy program. While this is a lofty goal, we are working hard to raise the necessary funds to make this happen. If you believe that all people have the right to a basic education, please join us, and contribute to our effort. 

As we head into our 10th year, we are more committed to this program having witnessed the impact and success of WGEF's literacy project. Here is an excerpt from my 2016 field notes: 

“I used to be blind, but now I can see” – Anek, WGEF literacy participant, Gulu

It was a short statement, but spoken slowly, with intention, directed at me. I had the opportunity to visit with a group of women in a more rural village outside of Gulu, many were participants in our literacy program and we had gathered beneath the shade of a jackfruit tree. I asked the group what programs were most meaningful and the program had changed their lives.  The woman, Anek, stood as she spoke. I asked if she would share with us what she has learned. She walked to the blackboard propped against the tree, picked up a piece of chalk – and carefully wrote her name across the smudged slate. I watched this, sitting on a small wooden bench, tears falling. This seemingly tiny moment is what my work and WGEF is all about.

It may seem like the smallest of moments, but it was so big, raw, honest and human. This is what we (WGEF) do: create humanity, in a space where it had once been extinguished.

I hope you are inspired and continue to support WGEF. Thank you for your commitment to women's empowerment!

Peace,

Karen  

Computer Lab
Computer Lab
Learning and Leading - WGEF Clients
Learning and Leading - WGEF Clients

I believe we need to change the titile of this project as our literacy program has grown! This year we have provided 411 women literacy opportunities. This includes two leves, twice a week, with lunch and childcare! Yay! 

Our goals going forward are to reach 1000 women next year, but we cannot do that without your continued help! Literacy is a human right, and the women of northern Uganda missed out on the opportunity to learn because of the long and brutal conflict. WGEF is committed to growing the literacy program, continuing to support and empower women to rebuild and recover their lives and communities. 

This will be our 9th year of literacy trainings and there is not a more important program. This past October while visiting a literacy class, a woman stood up and read a paragraph from a book. This was a moving and poignant moment highlighting the confindence and self-esteem enabled thru the dignity of being literate. 

Please enjoy the photos below and thank you for your commitment to women's empowerment! 

Peace, 

Karen

Literacy Group, October 2016
Literacy Group, October 2016

In 2016, we are continuing to provide two levels on literacy trainings for our clients; this year our goal is offer the opportunity to 400+ women. 

Over the last 8 years, we have seen over 1100 women participate in our literacy program and the impact is undeniable. Women report they experience increased self esteem, are now able to communicate better in community and official settings, advocate for themselves, and help their children with their homework. 

Basic education is a human right, not a luxury only for some; WGEF intends to grow and continue the program. This is only possible with the help of our donors. LIteracy participants attend classes twice weekly for 8 months; we have 7 teachers and 3 assists retained, with WGEF peer counselors also working with students. We have 5 literacy centers covering the norther region. 

"I used to be blind, but now I can see" Anek, WGEF litereacy participant. Many of our clients missed out on the opportunity to learn basic reading and writing skills during the long civil conflict; now women are rebuilding and recoering their lives and communities. This is only possible with a focus on basic literacy skills and continuing opporutnities. 

With the help of Global Giving donors, we will continue to build capacity and offier access to education and opportunities. 

Peace, 

Karen

Sharing
Sharing

Greetings! 

In October of 2016, I had the privlige of visiting with a large group of our clients. About 40 women come together for a community meeting a a village just outside Gulu. While the distance was challenging the roads were, and what should have taken 20 minutes or so, took an hour to get into this village. 

When we arrived the women were rehearing for the presentation in the upcoming drama festival, held every year in Gulu. We host this annual festival to enable women a stigma free environment to challenge their community to listen and recognize the role and issues facing women and families. It is also an important cultural celebration. 

When everyone was seated, the leader of the group, Vicki, welcomed us. I then had the chance to ask women about their lives, work and how the program has impacted them and their families. Many of the women shared their stories of creating successful businesses, agro projects, enabling them to send their children to school. They also spoke about increasing food security, participation in their communities and increased respect at home. 

Several women mentioned the importnace of the literacy program; suggesting it has improvied their self esteem and capabilities to run their businesses, interact with the public and pariticpate in their communities. 

One women stood up and said, "I used to be blind, but now I can see." Her name was Anek, and she told us she had just learned to write her name. It was a hubling and emotional moment for everyone. I then asked her if she would mind sharing with us; there was a chalkboard nearby. Anek rose, walked to the chalkboard and wrote her name. 

While seemingly simple, it was life changing for her, and many others. This is the power of our literacy program; the Credit Plus program and what is possible for women recovering and rebuilding their lives. Apprciating the small steps as well as the big, understanding that empowerment comes in many ways. 

This year we want to provide 400 women the opporutnity to read and write, and while this is a big undertaking, I believe we can be successful. We hope you are inspired and support our literacy program in 2016. 

Peace, 

Karen

Rehearsal
Rehearsal

Links:

Greetings from Gulu! 
 
On Tuesday, we traveled to Lapin Loyo; after very challenging roads we arrived to be greeted by over 50 WGEF clients who live in the village & work/study together at our training centre. While discussing the literacy program, I asked how it impacted their lives and made them feel; here is the one quote which will make your day and remind you of why you working with WGEF: 
 
"Before I was blind, now I can see" Anek said she now could write her own name and she was proud. I asked her to share: 
 
This was a powerful and moving moment, which will stay with me always...I hope you are inspired. 
 
Peace, 
Karen
 

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Organization Information

Women's Global Empowerment Fund

Location: denver, colorado - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.wgefund.org
Project Leader:
Karen Sugar
Founder and Director
denver, colorado United States

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