Updated: Mar 27
As we celebrate this year’s Women’s Day, which has come at the time when the entire world is struggling to cope up with the effects of the Coronavirus and the pandemic itself, we should emphasize that the most important thing one woman can do for another is creating opportunities for her to become sustainable.
The coronavirus has hit hardest the developing countries. In Uganda, the community were Youth With A Vision work, girls and women have suffered most and still lag behind of boys and men. Girls and women in the community here in Uganda, especially those living in rural and slum areas face many barriers and challenges to their development. Some are social-economic including exclusion while others are cultural. Harmful cultural practices such as genital mutilation, bride price against the will of girls and women still exist.
It is important to note with a keen eye that;
Girls still have limited access to education simply because in most families, education privileges and priorities are given to boys and girls are reserved for marriage and for producing children. There are still parents who think that when a girl reach the age of 14 years she should be married off. In some cultures, those girls that go to school are at risk of deliberate sexual abuse. When girls are denied education, they miss the chance to build their communication skills, confidence and become creative in life. Very often girls and women are perceived as receivers other than contributors to the wellbeing of the family, and they are always at risk of domestic and gender based violence. If girls at school are not bullied, then women in the community are often raped or defiled or harassed sexually and sadly such case go unreported.
Uneducated and semi illiterate women due to their insufficient levels of education lack access to financial tools in form of start-up capital so that they can start their own businesses yet sometimes they are responsible for their families’ well-being.
Lack of Sanitation Facilities: Poor sanitation affects both genders, women and girls are particularly at-risk of gender-based violence when they do not have a private place to relieve themselves. Many adolescent girls end their education early when they don’t have access to a school bathroom and sanitary towels.
Poor Medical Care and Access to Health Information. Women suffer from illness and disease in many poor communities because they lack access to vital health information and resources. During the recent lockdown many poor girls were enticed into sex for food, sanitary towels and essentials. In the process many got pregnant. Available statistics show that 6 in 10 of women who got pregnant during the lockdown were girls between the age of 14 years and 17 years! Sadly these girls are likely to miss out on school. The effect is that when girls miss out on education, it is the entire nation that misses because these girls will give birth to unhealthy babies, their children will be malnourished and susceptible to diseases. When girls miss out on education, they are likely to miss out on confidence and this is why there is a lot of crime against girls and women in Uganda that go unreported while others don’t receive justice due to victim’s failure to align evidence needed to account the offender. These and a lot more challenges that women face in their daily life, rotate around the lack of education and poverty.
In honour of #InternationalWomen's Day, we want to emphasize why education and employment are women’s issues, and how we can solve it together. Girls and women need knowledge and skills on how to change bad things in their community, access employment and other opportunities in order for them to develop. So it’s only after we give them this knowledge, that they will then play an important role in ensuring food security and sustainability of their families and community. Therefore, it’s more important now than ever that we need to create an enabling environment for girls and women to access education and economic prosperity. We need to equally provide education opportunities for both boys and girls as well as a platform for girls and women to develop their talents and become what they should.
Giving and expanding opportunities for girls to become knowledgeable, will build their confidence and turn them into strong women capable of standing and speaking up for themselves and for others for a just and fair society.
This is how Youth With A Vision supports girls and women emancipation and helps them to thrive.
We have enrolled over 60% girls on our education program. And they are enrolled for various levels of learning right from primary, through secondary to tertiary institutions. Giving girls an opportunity to access education help them to change their mind set to rise against the violation of their rights as well as helping them to participate in social, political and economic growth and development of their community.
70% of women are benefiting from our Youth Finance scheme and are helped to kick-start, manage and maintain their own enterprises, and earn income to become financially independent.
Besides reproductive health care and HIV/AIDS awareness creation, vocational skills for young women to generate income, we are providing school lunch meals, fees or tuition and scholastic materials for less privileged girls to attend and stay at school and acquire knowledge and skills to become productive.
In collaboration with the local community and under the good counsel of Project The Project Charity we give sanitary towels, and advance to girls the knowledge about menstrual hygiene, and empower them to make reusable sanitary towels to improve their access to proper sanitation and prevent them from dropping out of school, and unwanted pregnancies associated with menstrual poverty.
Like Meghan Markle put it before, “when girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves but also for those around them.” At Youth With A Vision, we believe that Education is a powerful tool in elimination of poverty. And if we are to empower girls and women to mitigate poverty, we should create and expand their access to education and financial independence opportunities.
Nelson Mandela once said ''What counts in life is not mere fact we have lived, it is what different we made in the lives of Others'' Prior to the International Women’s Day, we visited a woman who benefited from our Youth Finance Scheme, and a girl who is still benefiting from our education program, and we would like to share their stories to you.
‘’The support from Youth With A Vision’s Youth Finance Scheme helped me to start El-Shaddai Piggery Breeding Farm.
I constructed the pigsty by myself and started with 5 piglets (4 female and 1 male). When pigs produce, I don’t sale all the piglets, instead I retain 2 from each mother pig and sale the rest. When a mother pig becomes old I then sale it off. I am glad that I earn income from rearing pigs, and I am able to provide for my 6 children.
When I discovered that my kids like Rabbits, I decided to start a Rabbits Farm for them. I hope the Rabbits farm will also help to supplement income from piggery Farm. I can do jobs men can do, and I am proud to be a strong woman. My husband works with building constructions, and in our community building work is scanty. He could stay for a couple of months with a job coming his way. And if there was no any other family source of income, life could have been so difficult. So with income from the piggery farm, I bridge the gap and provide for all the family needs. One advice to my fellow women in the struggle; stay focused on what you want to become, be patient, and work hard for a better future. Today’s world need hard working women who are able to share family responsibilities with their spouses. Says Florence Nannyonjo’’. Florence is one of the past beneficiaries of our Youth Finance Scheme, and we are grateful to the difference we have together created in her life!
‘’At the age of 11 years, this was in 2016, by then I was in Primary 5 my parents were struck by poverty and decided to pull me out of school to give my young siblings a chance to go to school too. The little education I had acquired by then was considered enough for me. I was disappointed and devastated. For the two years that I stayed at home without going to school, I was almost wasted. If it wasn’t Youth With A Vision to enroll me on their program through my school headteacher in 2019, I couldn’t imagine what could have happened to me. I am glad that I receive support with my tuition, stationery and school lunch meals. I am now in Primary Seven and preparing to write my Primary School Leaving Examinations. With your continued support, I hope to join High School, then University and accomplish my dream of becoming a doctor and provide outstanding services to my community. Thank you. Says Sharon Nantambi’’
Sharon is among the girls your support helps to attend and stay at school. She goes to Kyassuma Primary School, Masaka, Uganda. Sharon needs our support to accomplish her education ambitions. Can we count on you for her?
There is a lot more of things we are thankful of but on this International Women’s Day, we want to recognize and celebrate;
Marian Liebmann, Cindy Godwin, Ella Oates, Simona Kind, Helen Wall, Hellen Nabbosa Mugenyi, Lisa Seedhouse, Laura Fenton Ashley, Katherine McMaster, Caroline Hargreaves, Merranie Nampewo Ssekalegga, Allen Lule, Melanie Mitchell, Kitch Richie, Sejal Majithia-Jaswal, Marjorie Forrest, Lucy Honeyman, Marjolein Soederhuizen, Heather Swailes, Nantale Kitali, Namugenyi Barbra, Jennifer Morrison, Marjorie Forrest, Margarete McGowan, and of course our staff - Juliet Nampanja Kizza who works unreservedly to ensure women on the Youth Finance Scheme progress and get the best out their enterprises.
You are all incredible and brave women. Thank you for standing with us in thick and thin. Your gifts help to keep the programs here at Youth With A Vision afloat!
Every Girl deserves to go to school and learn while every woman deserves to access employment opportunities, and the most important thing you can do for a girl and a woman this #WomensDay is creating opportunities for her to access education, justice, proper health and sanitation and economic independence. If you agree, make this year's International women’s day memorable. Please join us to ensure girls attend school and acquire the knowledge and skills they need, and women get the resources they need to start their own enterprises to become productive and sustainable.
The links below, are to the details of some of the many girls that need your support today, and If you are able and interested in enabling any or all of them to access education, simply click on the links for their details.
Sponsor Nalubega Alice Martha: https://www.youthwithavision.info/post/sponsor-nalubega-alice-martha
Sponsor Nakyetiba Patricia: https://www.youthwithavision.info/post/sponsor-nakyetiba-patricia
Sponsor Naamala Prossy: https://www.youthwithavision.info/post/sponsor-naamala-prossy
Sponsor Nalubega Shania: https://www.youthwithavision.info/post/sponsor-nalubega-shania
Sponsor Nalubowa Noeline: https://www.youthwithavision.info/post/sponsor-nalubowa-noeline
Sponsor Nakimbugwe Swabulah: https://www.youthwithavision.info/post/sponsor-nakimbugwe-swabulah
For other girls that need a sponsor for their education please go to www.youthwithavision.info/sponsor-a-child
We have young women that come to us everyday needing assistance to access employment. If you would like to support a young woman to start her own enterprises and become financially independent, please go to https://www.youthwithavision.info/youth-finance-scheme
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We wish you a Happy Women’s Day!
Founder and Director
Youth With A Vision
Team Youth With A Vision
Child Sponsorship: https://www.youthwithavision.info/sponsor-a-child
Youth Finance Scheme: https://www.youthwithavision.info/youth-finance-scheme
Get Involve: https://www.youthwithavision.info/get-involved
Shop: https://www.youthwithavision.info/shop for handmade merchandise by girls on the program.