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Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda

by Share Child Opportunity Eastern and Northen Uganda (SCOEN)
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Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda

Advancing girls’ leadership by working directly with girls
Conducted “Girls’ Parliaments” through which girls engaged with key stakeholders like police and child
protection unit, political as community advocacy to end child marriage in the communities at sub county and
district level. 70 girls trained to lead the Girls parliament, and 285 Adolescent girls and young women aged
13-24 years and participate in the Girls parliament, Conducted Sexual Reproductive Health Right and
Gender Based Violence mentoring and role modelling for in 5 schools and 14 communities through debates,
poetry and MDD reaching 210 Adolescent girls and young women.
Conducted training of 25 trainers of peer educators on Life skills based Comprehensive sexuality education
who conducted peer educations on Life skills based Comprehensive sexuality education sessions for 520
girls and 304 boys.

Gloria’s story
“My name is Gloria. I am 17 years old, I live in [a village in Soroti] I remember when my mother left me at home. My aunt’s first-born moved into our house. This is when things became bad. My cousin started telling me about marriage and that I had to get married.
I was very young at the age of 16. She took advantage of my age and because of her, I got married. At that very time, I fell pregnant. My mother was still not back from her project work in another district. Time went by and I gave birth, which did not make me happy because of the suffering. I lived like a slave because I had no time to rest, nor to be happy.
I had to run away. I left everything – it was just me and my child. I left the man and went back home. When I went to clan leader, he said that he didn’t want any girl child below the age of 21 to get married. I went back to my mother’s home and found my two brothers there. They said “No, my sister. Just stay here, don’t go During that time my mother came back home, and she was surprised to find out that I was in a marriage. Then she started asking me questions of what happened, and I told her what happened. Then my mother called the family and asked them what was happening, and she said that she was going to take the matter to the police. The family refused to take the matter to the police, which made her very sad. They said “No, don’t do that. Only God knows”.
The father of the child does not support the child. My mother is the one who takes care of everything that the child needs, and things became better. That is when I began sensitising young people and also teaching them about their rights and responsibilities because I don’t want them to become the lost, but the found.”


Isiku
My name is Isiku and I am 23 years old. I live in Arapai and I am a volunteer at SCOEN. I became an activist because as someone who experienced challenges of teen pregnancy, I wanted to help put an end to early child marriage and teen pregnancies. At SCOEN I am a Champion of Change facilitator on ending child marriages, promoting gender equality and children’s rights.
For the movement that aims to end early, child and forced marriage, I wish to see all those children who were involved to make it back to school and succeed in life. I would like to continue sensitizing communities on the importance of education and the danger of getting pregnant at an early age. One day, I would like to become a Community Developer of SCOEN because I have seen so many activities that needs more attention in our communities.
Dorothy
Dorothy is a young volunteer at SCOEN. Her motivation for becoming an activist was to help end early child marriage. She was once a victim of early child marriage and as a result, wanted to help others avoid the situation she was in. With regards to the social movement to end early, child and forced marriage, Dorothy would like to see all people sensitized to the issue. She hopes that her role will be influential in her own community.
When asked what she would like to become one day, Dorothy explained, “I would like to become a police woman one day to help or work with the community”.

 

GIVING GIRLS A VOICE

Supporting young female leaders is critical to achieving gender equality.
By giving girls a voice, many of the challenges they face can be overcome. This will help accelerate change and ensure their needs are addressed effectively.
Participation can also improve the quality of services, policies, governance and access to justice. Supporting young female leaders to play a strong political, economic and social role is critical to achieving gender justice.
We have a vision that all girls and young women will be able to participate in decision-making processes that affect them by 2030. This vision mirrors that of the global goals being implemented. We are committed to achieving this by supporting young female leaders and working to promote the voices of young women and girls. We are also developing a report alongside partners that will track the progress of the girl-related global goals. It will ensure global leaders are being held to their promise of achieving gender equality.
We also work with boys and men to overcome discrimination and gender inequality. We empower boys and men to be actively involved and committed to redistributing power in decision-making processes. This means the voices and needs of women and girls receive the attention and respect they deserve

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In the past quarter numbe of progress have been, our dialogues have continued, SCOEN have called on communities to: Unite to end harmful social and cultural beliefs that give rise to violence against girls; end harmful practices; strengthen reporting & response mechanisms within communities & educational institutions

This was made possible by your generous gifting to support our work, out of thousands of inspiring projects  on GlobalGiving, so we’re grateful you chose to support our work. Thank you for being a part of our team of supporters that are making our project a reality. Thank you for your amazing response!

SCOEN has partnered with the GlobalGiving on a public appeal to raise awareness of the issue of child marriage in Uganda. Through the GlobalGiving Crowdfunding platform SCOEN has so far raised $1,867 of the required total goal of $82,350, including match funding from the GlobalGiving on donation. The money raised will support a project that will help facilitating girls' parliaments through which girls and young women can advocate with key stakeholders like police and child protection units to end child marriage at the community, sub-county, and district level

more funds are still needed to UnlockFutures for girls for good

Breaking the cycle Girls don’t need empowering; they just need a fair start and a level playing field. That’s why at Plan International we are aiming over the next 5 years to make sure 100 million girls learn, lead, decide, and thrive.

Esthers testmony

Esther is agent change girl in our program "Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda"

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Girls trained to lead the girls' parliament
Girls trained to lead the girls' parliament

Girls’ Parliaments sessions through which girls engaged with key stakeholders like police and child protection unit, political as community advocacy to end child marriage in the communities at sub county and district level was conducted adolescent girls and young women equipped with knowledge to participate in the dialogues, the dialogues registered participation from the Child and Family Protection Unit office, Children advocate, child brides who have dropped out of school, schools girls, LC ones, women councilors, clan and religious leaders, parents who attended parent schools, many parents gave testimonies who some of their daughter were given second chances in life and are excelling; these activity reached 128 girls, 39 men, and 43 adult women. The school dropout who are the victims of child marriage were identified with the help of local councils, clan leader and religious leaders this was so helpful as the community is involved and owning the project. During this activity, the community outreach officers together with the community development officer of Arapai Sub County and district Probation and welfare Officer conducted the training of both in and out of schools’ girls in the school’s communities of Tukum, Angai, onyakai, Arapai and Odudui in Arapai Sub County and Kichinjanji, Soroti Islamic Primary Schools and Soroti Community Senior Secondary School in Northern Division. All these trainings were fruitful 60 school girls, 30 school drop outs, 7 senior women teachers and the area 14 local council ones equipped with the knowledge to be aware and confident to participate in open discussions on SRHR and child marriage issues in girls’ parliaments dialogues.

STORY BOX

Achom is a 16-year-old primary 7 pupil who is an active participant in Girls’ parliament. Her participation, she says, has fostered her ambition and capacity to be the first in her family to embrace. She wants to be a doctor.

Achom joined the Girls’ parliament June 2019. ‘That was the time I could not stand for my-self especially when menstruating,’ she explained, adding, ‘I felt shame as if it was my personal problem.’ The Girls’ parliament not only taught her about personal hygiene but also made her ‘feel free’ about being a girl.

In addition, she explained, the Girls’ parliament ‘helped me improve my speaking skills’. She is no longer afraid ‘to raise questions and give answers in the classroom lesson’. Having learned the importance of ‘choosing our friends with great care’, Achom is also a mentor for other girls, ‘encouraging them to be self-confident to speak out their view’.

Recognising boys are a key part of the solution, Achom has worked hard to foster a feeling between boys and girls that they are ‘as brothers and sisters’. Achom explained, ‘The male pupils who are members of the girls’ Girls’ parliament have been educated about the appropriate relationship between male and female pupils.’ Now, she added, there is ‘no problem based on differences in sex’.

The girls’ Girls’ parliament also works closely with parents, helping them recognise ‘females are equal with males in all aspects of life’. Because girls in Teso tend to be responsible for a far greater share of domestic labour, which impacts their ability to complete their schoolwork, the Girls’ parliament emphasises to parents the ‘equal distribution of household chores among girls and boys at home’.

Achom says that, because of SCOEN’s interventions, her community is a much better place to be a girl. ‘The practice of early marriage seems to be reducing’ she said, and ‘The community realised the value of girls’ education.’ Asked whether anything could be done to improve programming, Achom had two suggestions. First, noting that in rural areas people are often unwilling to attend training, ‘I recommend the use of house-to-house visits.’ Second, because ‘there is a shortage of trained teachers, I recommend the number of teachers be increased’. She ended enthusiastically, ‘Let female harassment be halted!’

Mentoring and role modelling for in and out of school girls through debates, poetry and MDD, that include peer education - guidance and counseling sessions conducted in Soroti Islamic primary school, and kichinjajai primary school by the Community Outreach Officers and peer educators/volunteers, mentoring and role modelling sessions availed AGYW with information regarding addressing gaps in SRHR/GBV service delivery, consequences and prevention of child marriage among themselves, general body hygiene and sanitation, roles and duties of children in schools and at home. During this activity girls stories/experience were captured.

Parents Schools session conducted in 10 school communities to identify key protection threats and identify community driven strategies to mitigate against protection threats, in these sessions, parents aired out many concerns and we realised most of them unaware of the case management and reporting, criticizing children rights these therefore strengthened the involvement of child protection and family unit from police and advocates to be part of these session. These sessions have reach 67 males and 80 females from the parishes of Amoru, Arapai and wards of Madera, Camp Swahili and Kichijanji. This seems to be a good platform for male involvement as key decision makers in homes and with key roles and responsibilities in women issues, it was imperative that men participate in RH awareness and girl child protection activities.

Girls and Boys debating on girl child protection
Girls and Boys debating on girl child protection
Focus Group Dicussion on girls protection
Focus Group Dicussion on girls protection
Group mentorship of girls
Group mentorship of girls

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Girls Parliament in ending child marriage

Ending sexual violence and harmful practices

We recognise that practices such as early marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and sexual violence are violations of girls’ and boys’ sexual health rights. These often have severe and deep-rooted negative impacts on children’s and young people’s physical and psychological well-being, their sense of self-worth and their successful future development.

SCOEN is dedicated to mobilising parents, community leaders, government authorities and other children and young people to identify, analyse, understand and end the harmful practices and sexual violence children and young people face.

By engaging girls with community and religious leaders including boys and girls, men and women, policy makers and influencers the power of Girls Parliament as a community awareness intervention in ending child marriage will be realised. SCOEN has identified impact pathways included creating opportunities for reflection and helping people shift both attitudes and practices, face-to-face communication with target groups and generating the ability to address issues of concern directly and to re-frame local thinking through:-

  1. SCOEN has reach 231 adolescent girls and young women in Community Dialogues "Girls’ Parliaments” through which girls engaged with key stakeholders like police and child protection unit, political as community advocacy to end child marriage in the communities at sub county and district level; this involved interactive discussion, exchange and sharing of opinions and experiences on child marriage in a community.
  2. Conducted and facilitated SRHR/ GBV, mentoring and role modelling for in and out of school girls through debates, poetry and MDD through which we reached about 80 AGYW aged 13-24 years
  3. Conducted training of trainers of peer educators on Life skills based Comprehensive sexuality education (25 ToTs)
  4. Conducted peer education on Life skills based Comprehensive sexuality education sessions for girls and boys targeting 1240 boys and girls
  5. Conducted Training of Trainer (ToT) training for community facilitators to undertake ‘Parents’ Schools’ (42 parents trained as ToTs)
  6. Conducted monthly radio talk shows

Together we advocate to improve legal frameworks and to ensure they are being effectively implemented. A key element to our approach is to give young people a voice in this process, to involve them – particularly girls – and to empower them to claim their rights to a safer, more fulfilling life.

We want to thank all institutions, person who have generously given financial and technical support to SCOEN!! You have made us reach 14 communities now.  Our PROJEC-GIRLS PARLIAMENT TO END CHILD MARRIAGE IN UGANDA is till on!. Our goal is to raise $82,350, sofar raide $1011 to helps us reach out to the communities to prevent and respond to child marriage.

The parliaments will create a platform that promotes critical reflection and allows for questioning of beliefs, myths, and practices in order to realize a change in social norms, accelerating the reduction of child marriage.

just a small donation of $10 will help SCOEN change the community and train Adoloscent Girls and Young Women become change agent.

 

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Group focu discusion at Camp Swahili
Group focu discusion at Camp Swahili

Your genorous donations towards Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda Project has so far enabled SCOEN to development project content like training manuals, IEC messages, social media messages etc. and yet translation of content to local language “Ateso.

The parliaments has create a platform that promotes critical reflection and allows for questioning of beliefs, myths, and practices in order to realize a change in social norms, accelerating the reduction of child marriage and gender based violence.

The fund facilitated create a dialogue about gender equality and child marriage at the community level through use of video and voice recording of interested community members that share helpful stories, testimonies, ideas, experiences, and knowledge about child marriage. This ahsl create opportunities for productive community level discussions on early marriage and how it can be overcome.

Group focus discusion at Arapai Sub County
Group focus discusion at Arapai Sub County

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Organization Information

Share Child Opportunity Eastern and Northen Uganda (SCOEN)

Location: Soroti, Eastern Uganda - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Scoenuganda1
Project Leader:
Lucas Haron Akol
Fundraising/Partner Relations Officer
Soroti, Eastern Uganda Uganda
$2,140 raised of $82,350 goal
 
24 donations
$80,210 to go
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