Gulu Women's Resource Centre
Fall is a busy, meaningful and productive time for WGEF and our clients. The farmers have harvested their fields and are selling their products nationwide and into S. Sudan. We have several women who have created a distribution business enabling our farmers to sell and distribute food focused on economy, fair trade and efficacy.
In October, WGEF openend Gulu Women's Resource Centre:
To address the issues of stubborn poverty and the challenges women face regarding access to and information on: health, justice & human rights, gender based violence, economic empowerment, education and activism, Women’s Global Empowerment Fund (WGEF) is launching the Gulu Women’s Resource Center (GWRC). GWRC is a one-stop center that will provide essential support, information and education to women and girls in northern Uganda.
The goal of this initiative is to create a community space providing women current and critical information, community meeting space, and computer and life skill trainings. It is through information and education that self esteem and empowerment is facilitated, enabling women to stand up and lead themselves out of the vicious cycle of poverty that is often presented before them.
Please see the photos of the opening celebration!
Also, in October, we hosted our 9th annual drama festival, Amplifying Women's Voices. The topic this year was 'Reproductive Health Care Is Our Right'! This topic is chosen by our client leaders every year, and as usual the topic is an important issue and challenge for women and girls in northern Uganda. The Festival is an all day celebration, featuring dramas, plays, monologues, songs and dances, celebrating the local Acholi culture while addressing sensitive and relevant issues.
We had an outstanding turnout, with hundreds of community members and elected officials in attendance. This years presentations were really brilliant with new set design, costumes, and substantative and meaningful dialogue. We included school girls who held a debate on menstrual health.
Our Healthy Periods Initiative (HPI), is now fully operational, after extensive testing, assessment, government approval, we are now up and running! This project is critical to the health and well being of all women and girls. Girls miss an average of 70 days per year because of lack of adequate resources; schools often don't have proper sanitiation or running water and because of poverty, women are forced to use rags, mattress stuffing, newspapers, etc, creating the increased possibility of infections and other health related issues. Please see our website for more information on this transformational and amazing program.
To date we have given over 2500 loans, enabling women to start a business or build capacity in their exisitng endeavors. Our average loan size is $87, with about 1/3 of loans being used for agriculture projects. The business and ag projects are becoming larger and more sophisticated as the region fully recovers and women have access to capital, and other important social programs. This year we were able to provide 411 women with literacy opprtunities.
We hope you are inspired and continue to support our programs! Thank you for your commitment to women's empowerment!
Preparing a large shipment of food for S. Sudan
the HPI lab - inspiration
Product production and participants - Lucky Girls
Drama Festival Photo