Two weeks ago, the Daily monitor quoted a report entitled; Commercial Sex Exploitation of Children in Uganda, published in May, that found out that more teenage girls were engaging in commercial sex, with an estimated 6,000 new recruits in the last five years alone. The report said that the age at which children are engaged in the trade is becoming younger with many getting started at the age of 13 making the trade the biggest conduit to child trafficking.
We as AGI are putting effort to see that the girls that have dropped out of school are given an alternative. We equip them with vocational skills. for a month now, the girls have been learning life skills, reproductive health, and with the beginning of August they are now being equipped with vocational skills. Thanks to MAN-UP (www.manupcampaign.org ) for the enormous support they render to make this happen.
The girls are very excited, the room is filled with an aura of enthusiasm and dedication. They are determined to learn.
“I am greatly encouraged by these girls,” Barbra commented. Barbra is the tailoring trainer who has just completed her BA Development studies at Makerere Universty but she learned from her mother how to tailor. she is very skilled and can use the sawing machine to design anything you present her with. She is determined to pass on her skill.
We are completely convinced that the lives of these girls will never remain the same again.
The rest of the girls surround Betty as she takes her first strides
You must be focused
Look at this!
Barbra shows off her sewing encyclopaedia
Girls surround Roland as he mixes the paint!.
Last Saturday we were with girls painting one of the classrooms at the school. For most of the girls painting a building was the most shocking assignment they heard about from the head teacher. Many told him that girls (women) can’t paint a building but in the end they realised that they actually can and they enjoyed the whole exercise. Dealing with social constructs about what a girl can and can’t do must be done at early age before girls limit themselves in life before they even try. Below are some of the photos from the day.
Girls hold the brush. They never thought they could paint their own classroom.
It will take a genuine effort on everyone's part; family, community and government to keep the girl child- especially in a slum-in school. They need to know they can make it!
And you have to do it with your heart.
The team after work.
It was yet another exciting week running for the AGI Uganda this time we won’t have to talk much let us just let the pictures do the talking. Healing is taking place there are girls whose smiles I was yet to see I saw for the first time. We brought in facilitators, Dorcas Tushemereirwe and Joseph Byamukama to the classes. We were taking about the anatomy and physiology of a woman and breaking it down for 12 year old sometimes its not that easy. Well, she did and at the end of the day the girls learn something. To crown the day was traditional Kiganda dance.
The girls during one of the saturday classes.
“Too often we under estimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo F. Buscaglia
A wise man was once quoted to have said; a lot of the things that until now seemed unthinkable are starting to be thinkable. Cruising on the wheels of hope and faith, we set off for Bwaise. At 9:00 am a total number of 30 girls from Bwaise sat eagerly waiting for the facilitators to show up. 19 girls are school going between the ages of 13 and 15. Out of the thirty ages between 16 and 22, eleven of them are school dropouts, two of them mothers. An aura of hope swept across the room where we decided to divide the school going and those that are no longer going to school. Coincidentally, most of them are orphans and some HIV positive.
The introductory classes took off immediately, very few volunteers showed up to take part in the project because most of them wanted allowances that we could not afford. However friends that showed up did a tremendous job. We had the girls introduce themselves; select leaders, lay out their expectations and a key-note speech from Agnes of AMREF, and Nzaramba Vincent, a politician in this area. Rolands Tibirusya yet again was present this time not as a professional painter but held the camera to capture every moment of the day. Mrs Jennifer Muriro and Esther were also present to be part of this project.
I am so excited that this is happening the light that shone in the eyes of the girls gave us hope to carry on. Many battles we fight against fear, discouragement and despair but in all this we are more than conquerors.
Thanks to the MAN UP team for their support especially Aimee Oberndorfer Le as we raise the flag of stopping violence againt women in the whole world and restoring the dignity of the Girls in Africa
The girls during the first session
Mrs Jennifer Muriro as she gives her final remarks
The 12-15 year class pause for a group photo after the last session
“The most sacred place dwells within our heart, where dreams are born and secrets sleep, a mystical refuge of darkness and light, fear and conquest, adventure and discovery, challenge and transformation. Our heart speaks for our soul every moment while we are alive. Listen… as the whispering beat repeats: be…gin, be…gin, be…gin. It’s really that simple. Just begin… again.” Royce Addington
By Prudence Nyamishana
Equipped with our brushes, rollers, overalls and paint, we set off at about two in the afternoon. It had rained heavily that morning and the question that was lingering in the minds of the crew was “Who goes to Bwaise on a rainy day?” Notwithstanding that fact, we set off. We were going to paint a classroom at St James Church of Uganda Primary School that the headmaster gave us to use for our weekend programmes. He couldn’t wait to have us in his school.
With our gear, we were able to turn what at first look like a vain attempt, to a beautiful decorated classroom. Thanks to the “head prefect” of the day Roland Tibirusya who by the way is the young achievers award winner 2010 (Art and Design), gave us directions on how to go about the painting. He would have never done this alone but with the help of other young professionals that were enjoying every bit of the painting session. The touch of the roller was exquisite made the work easier and enjoyable.
And who says you need a lot of money to make a difference in your community. This classroom that we were painting will be used for our activities in skills training.
And as usual it was an opportunity for every one that was present to serve and to reach out to the community.
The day ended with a prayer and a vote of thanks from the headmaster who was visibly grateful for the work that we had done.
You can make a difference in your community if you chose to. If you would like to get involved in our upcoming activities please get in touch with us on +256 701 532 516 email us on firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you for visiting our blog.
Painting in pictures
Starting the work
Rollers and brushes at work
Mixing the paint
After its all done
With the Deputy Headmaster
by Andy Mugisha
Hi you are invited for the launch of the African girl initiative- Uganda that will take place at one love zone Wandegeya just above diamond trust bank. On Saturday 26th starting at 2:00 pm Your presence will add great value to our organisation . We can wait to see you
RSVP )701532 516 0r email email@example.com
COME LETS HAVE SOME FUN, COME WITH A FRIEND
Recently, together with a couple friends, we visited the slums and the notorious ekiombasa to identify with the people that leave there. At about 1pm on a scotching hot Saturday afternoon, we set off from Kampala town and within five minutes we were in the heart of the slum. We had been given permission by the LC 1 chairman, who allowed us to clean up the place. The rubbish was too much and for a while I did not know how we were ever going to clear it all. Equipped with spades, hoes and brooms, they started the work, there were many teenage prostitutes around the area who at first questioned our motives. I have come to learn that skepticism has become part and parcel of the Ugandans they believe that nothing can be done out of free will.
They thought we were being paid to clean up their area. Most of them thought that we could have been a political party that was campaigning for a candidate. As time went by, they started joining us one by one, soon it was a crowd, we interacted with the girls freely as we swept, we were chatting, they began sharing their experiences and what led them into the trade at a tender age. But the issue that kept coming up is loss of parents and poverty.
We concluded the activity with with popcorn and a speech from the area defense secretary who thanked us for the great work that we had done.
All the young people that participated in the outreach went back home with a different experience, Agaba peter said that it had been life changing for him, Roland Tibirusya said that it was an unforgettable experience, Martin and Judith Murungi were speechless. As for me just like everybody else was happy that at least I could help somebody. I know that the youth are the asset that Uganda has a population is approximately 33 million, with just over half aged 17 and under, and just under half aged 15-64. The average age is about 15 years, and only 2.4% of people are aged 65 and over. This is a great force that can bring about a radical change. We have the power to change the nation. to get involved email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on +256701532516. we cant wait to hear from you.
outreach in pictures
Ladies at work
Peter, Mike ( center) and Martin share a light moment
At the end of the day