Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future

by Act4Africa
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future
Ugandan GIRLS THRIVE & create their own future

Over the nine years that we have crowdfunded through GlobalGiving for our Ugandan Girls Thrive project, the needs of one particularly vulnerable group of out-of-school girls have been regularly highlighted. Child mothers.

Child Marriage (marriage below the age of 18 years) remains a widespread practice across many cultures in Uganda.  In 2012, 49% of girls were married by the age of 18 (UBOS and ICF International Inc.). These problems of high rates of early pregnancy are significantly amplified in rural districts such as Mayuge, Eastern Uganda, especially since the COVID-19 lockdown.  In Mayuge, child mothers as young as 12 are particularly marginalised. They suffer from significant stigmatisation, social isolation & poor mental wellbeing, often resulting in suicidal tendencies.

Child mothers in Mayuge often have little to no education & no access to basic services or support mechanisms. Social isolation, economic vulnerability, and lack of access to healthcare prevent healthy transitions from girlhood to womanhood in this low-resource community. In Mayuge, vulnerable adolescent mothers are hard hit by all aspects of poverty & are at high risk of gender-based violence, further unintended pregnancies & HIV. They are forced to drop out of school, are unable to find employment, they lack the ability to make independent decisions, & are not being reached by existing programs.

Therefore, we are pleased to announce that Act4Africa have been awarded a Small Charities Challenge Fund grant from UK Aid Direct to work with this community.  The aim of the two-year project is to improve the well-being & health of 225 adolescent mothers in Mayuge District, Eastern Uganda. Working with them, local health workers and the wider community, we aim to facilitate an improvement in the girls’ mental well-being and provide them with increased control over their sexual and reproductive health.  They will be formed into small self-help groups to promote peer support, emotional wellbeing, access to local government health and social services & develop a collective voice to advocate for their needs.

Our initial consultations with this community of young mothers have led to an identification of a further need, beyond their mental and physical well-being.  As we discuss and design the programme with the girls, the type of economic and enterprise training we have delivered to many out-of-school girls through your donations to our GlobalGiving project, has been identified as a valuable addition.

When our field officers spoke to Cissy (18), she had given birth 5 days before.

’We are a very young couple that was only driven by the pressures of teenage hood and little did we ever know that we would find ourselves in the circumstances that we find ourselves in today: two children now, no money to take care of ourselves, no place to stay or call home other than here where we are being looked after and taken care of by the mother to my husband. There are a lot more of other challenges, but on the other hand we are hoping that Act4Africa’s new program will help girls like me to acquire vocational skills like which help me find employment and be able to take care of my family’’.

We are very grateful for your ongoing support and hope that over the next two years your donations will help us co-produce a vocational programme with these adolescent mothers, to run alongside our exciting new mental well-being initiative.

We look forward to bringing your more news on this soon.

Cissy (18) a young mother with 2 children
Cissy (18) a young mother with 2 children

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Elderly & pregnant women were the priority for aid
Elderly & pregnant women were the priority for aid

Kasese district, Western Uganda has been repeatedly ravaged by floods over the last 7 months, including as recently as last month.  Over 100,000 people have been left homeless. Heavy rains have caused most of the major rivers in the district to burst their banks. Notably, we had river Nyamwamba, Mubuku, and river Nyamugasani which flooded, destroying lives and many properties, including a government hospital, several schools, and people’s homes. The floods unfortunately swept away gardens of crops that left many people with no shelter, food or clean water.

As a result of the gross effects of these catastrophes from May to November, the government aid was not sufficient for all of the victims and many found themselves living in camps where they had to depend entirely on relief food and other basic necessities which were mainly provided by charity organizations and well-wishers.

The camp which we visited is in the Nyamwamba division of Kasese municipality. It is divided into 3 sections. Approximately 50 families are living in each section of the camp with a total population of around 250 people living in makeshift houses made of tarpaulin, sharing 3 toilets with only 1 tap that also provides water to the surrounding community. 

Prior to the relief distribution, the local council chairperson told us about his frustrations and shared great concern for the pregnant mothers giving birth in the camp without good care. Most rely on traditional birth attendants and those who do manage to reach the health facilities have no money to get proper postnatal care. He said that since the existence of the camp, 18 mothers have given birth with many more being pregnant and expecting any time soon. The issue of increased cases of teenage pregnancy in the camp results from idleness by the youth, mostly since no economic or social activity in the camp engages them and they lack knowledge about sexual reproductive health. He said that these increased cases of pregnancies by young girls will mean most of them miss out on studying even after schools fully reopen next year.

The chairperson also talked about the challenges of attending to people suffering with mental illness in the camp who need special consideration from the government or any other organization to help them get the correct treatment. He also highlighted the need to sensitize and counsel families of those suffering from poor mental health, so that they can live without being isolated by others.

It is against this background that Act4Africa received an emergency grant from GlobalGiving to come to the rescue of people living in camps.  We were able to give food and sanitation items to help the people of Kasese, especially those living in camps to minimize the possible outbreak of diseases in these crowded camps. While giving out aid, Act4Africa mostly identified families with many children, pregnant mothers, people with disabilities, and the elderly as the most vulnerable people that required urgent assistance.

We gave out a range of foods like, maize and cassava flour, cooking oil and rice to help people improve their diet.  Relief items such as washing bar soap and liquid soap, hand washing tap and dustbins will help fight diseases like cholera and coronavirus by washing hands at the entry point of the camp and having a good garbage collection point.

This aid by Act4Africa was greatly appreciated by the camp residents who said that it will improve the diet of their families and improve the general sanitation of the camp.

“Thank you Act4Africa for this food relief that has been timely because we were having no food” said one of the mothers in the camp.

Looking at the effects of lockdown in the country resulting from Covid19, economically people are unable to work and earn money that will enable them decent lifestyles like before or construct houses that were washed by floods. They called on Act4Africa and all its partners and well-wishers to consider them and supply more food to them because government aid is always slow.

The food aid provided by Act4Africa was a great relief to the people of Kanyageya living in camps and they greatly appreciated the works of the charity and support of GlobalGiving.

Water stations to keep people safe from infection
Water stations to keep people safe from infection
Food, soap, jerrycans and bins all received
Food, soap, jerrycans and bins all received

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Daphine receives food aid and learning resources
Daphine receives food aid and learning resources

During this challenging time of COVID-19 lockdown, many women and girls in Uganda have struggled with starvation as they have been unable to earn even a meagre wage.

As a team, our movement and social gatherings have been restricted, nevertheless, we are pleased to tell you that we have been able to pivoted our support to provide girls with vital food and hygiene supplies.  The girls are so happy with this aid as the lockdown has really squeezed people.

On behalf of the girls and their families, I appreciate this support from the GlobalGiving community to our people here, you are indeed outstanding partners to help people in such need.

Furthermore, with schools set to be closed for almost an entire year, we have also turned our support to help vulnerable girls who have no access to learning materials, supplying them with education supplements and radios to tune into government education broadcasts.

Daphine is set to take her O levels later this year. Her guardian says:

“Thank you for the food and learning packages, they are a big relief to help us manage through this lockdown.”

We thank you for standing with us and our communities in their hour of need.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Viola making a cooking stove to sell
Viola making a cooking stove to sell

Voila is among the young girls who have, through the course of time, benefited from Act4Africa weekly Health, Education and Livelihood sessions.

In her words Viola says: “I cannot be more thankful to Act4Africa, for the industrious/entrepreneurial skills that are helping me navigate life through these tough and turbulent times.

“It is almost equated to a taboo in my community, being at my age with a child and I happen not be married as yet. It is my decision however, to aspire for a better and good future.”

These were some of the statements made by Viola, during our short visit to her home to get to know of how she has been managing to cope with life, ever since government announced the lock down.   

“With the many challenges notwithstanding, this season has kept my mind so focused and innovative in creating and finding opportunities that can earn me and my relatives a livelihood, owing to the entrepreneurial skills that I attained from Act4Africa.

“On top of selling the vegetables from my backyard garden and tailoring, I have also learnt how make clay stoves that I plan to sell during and after this lock-down season.”

Such is the story of Viola a young and determined girl on the quest to achieve her aspirations.

Thanks to your support, we are delighted that our Ugandan Girls Thrive project has gained a prized place on the GlobalGiving 2020 Girl Fund. With this regular funding from GlobalGiving throughout 2020, we will be able to continue supporting girls like Viola. With your support, they will not only survive this challenging time, they will reach for their goals as well!  

A completed stove being used in Viola's home
A completed stove being used in Viola's home

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Yolesi with the liquid soap she produces.
Yolesi with the liquid soap she produces.

Yolesi (25) from Kasese District, Western Uganda, is one of our many young women who have been positively transformed both socially and economically through trainings under our project 'Ugandan Girls Thrive'. She tells us how she now enjoys an independent lifestyle without looking to men as a source of income.

“I dropped out of school due to lack of fees after the death of my father who was solely responsible for paying my school dues from a small business of shop keeping in our village.”

Yolese, a once miserable young girl, started seeing light for an improved lifestyle after attending Act4Africa workshops and life skills programs.

“I was empowered and equipped with skills of beading and later liquid soap making in my group which has transformed my life as a young woman.”

Yolesi told us, “After stopping schooling, I sat at home and would do farm and domestic work with my mother. As a young girl I lacked several things to make me look like other able girls in the village. My mother could not manage to provide for me or my other young siblings at home.

Being home all the time exposed me to many men whom I looked at as an alternative way of getting small money to buy myself basic needs as a girl. This was the only way out for my situation. I did all this in ‘total darkness’ because I never thought of the consequences of having multiple men, I never thought of HIV/AIDS, pregnancy and other STDs because I was not aware. I was so exposed, every day I placed my life to risk of being infected with HIV or becoming pregnant and facing isolation and rejection.”

“The trainings on HIV/AIDS knowledge and other sexual reproductive health information greatly opened my mind as a young girl. The enterprise and financial literacy knowledge encouraged me and others to form a small village savings group. With some of the savings, we hired a local entrepreneur to train us on how to make liquid soap. This later became the turning point in my economic status.”

“I saved my little profit share from the group business and later requested a loan from the same group, which I used to start up my own liquid soap making business with my mother. It is now the base of our financial status at home and my young siblings school fees are paid from the income we earn.”

“My big dream is to produce liquid soap in large quantities and supply schools and markets around my sub-county and beyond. All this would not be possible if Act4Africa had not come, with this life-changing program, to my village. I would be having many children and married by now because of being desperate and having nothing productive to do.”

Yolesi ended her story with heartfelt appreciations: “Thank you to Act4Africa and all those who support them. I wish you come back again to train many more girls such that we can live an empowered and independent life as young girls and not be trapped in poverty by men.”

Thank you for your donations to the 'Ugandan Girls Thrive' project. Please share Yolesi’s story with others.

Act4Africa is competing for a place on the GlobalGiving Girl Fund. Help us make our way up the leader board by donating to this project on or before 13th March. If successful the funds received will allow us to put up to 45 adolescent girls through our comprehensive training programme, empowering and enabling them to take control of their future just like Yolesi.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Act4Africa

Location: Altrincham, Cheshire - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ACT4AFRICA
Project Leader:
Sarah Istephan
Manchester, United Kingdom
$23,531 raised of $50,000 goal
 
519 donations
$26,469 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Act4Africa has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.