The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project uses education and empowerment to help HIV/AIDS Orphans escape poverty. After a 9-year-old student at one of Nyaka's schools was raped by a 35-year-old man, the organization mobilized to protect the children of Uganda. This project will work to increase understanding about sexual assault among students and community members, influence attitudes about sexual assault, and work with local authorities to get justice for sexual assault survivors.
According to research conducted in a rural western district of Uganda, nearly 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys will be sexually assaulted. Community beliefs about rape and sexual assault reveal that many adults blame survivors for being assaulted. Families must pay holding fees to keep rapists/pedophiles in jail and to ensure that they face trial. There is great need for community education to change attitudes and support for children who have been victimized both legally and emotionally.
This project will begin by addressing needs of students through Nyaka's three schools. Eventually Nyaka will hire three social workers, one for each school. They will conduct training sessions with teachers and students on issues related to sexual assault, create school policies to protect survivors, and educate the community. This project will also pay for legal fees to ensure that all rapists and pedophiles are prosecuted. It will also provide funds to provide medical treatment to survivors.
Sexual assault causes serious emotional and physical injury, especially for young children. Survivors are also vulnerable to Sexual Transmitted Infections, including HIV/AIDS. Girls who are sexual assaulted are at greater risk of unplanned pregnancies, which can hurt their ability to continue their education. Preventing sexual assault will reduce these negative outcomes. Community education could change views about sexual assault and consent, which will prevent future sexual assaults.