2014 Young Women's Ventures
In 2014, Global Grassroots' Young Women's Academy for Conscious Change was piloted in partnership with Cornerstone Development, which provides leadership and academic opportunities for young women leaders during their last two years of high school. These young women came from some of Uganda's most impoverished communities. In fact, some are the first in their entire village to complete high school (Senior 6). They had been selected on the basis of merit to attend the Cornerstone Leadership Academy and, upon their graduation from Cornerstone, they applied to participate in Global Grassroots' program. Eleven new secondary school graduates, ranging in age from 19 to 21, were invited to participate in our Young Women's Academy. We feel fortunate to be able to build not only upon Cornerstone's leadership and academic programs but upon the students' bonds with one another as members of a small boarding school class. At the conclusion of our program, these eleven new change agents impacted 1,043 people in just eight short months.
UgandaATUMAIRE BRENDA Issue: School drop-outs Venture: To reach out to the younger generation and enable them to realize and experience the value of education through economic empowerment, sensitization, and resourcefulness. With help from the head teacher of the local school, Brenda worked with 15 orphaned or vulnerable girls, both in and out of school, and one guardian or parent of each child. The children were chosen from the poorest households, including orphans. Brenda had monthly sessions to teach the guardians/parents and children about the value of education and to help the parents and their daughters learn life skills. She purchased piglets and taught her participants to raise them, the income of which would help them pay school fees and other educational needs. Parents and daughters working together encouraged togetherness and resourcefulness in problem-solving. Success Story: At the end of Brenda's program, the pigs were sold and the money put in a saving scheme, which was later used to pay school fees for the children.
PATRICIA COMFORT Issue: School dropouts Venture: To support and encourage the school-age children in Ttula Village to continue with their studies while providing character development guidance to the people in the community. Serving 50 girls in school, 10 drop-outs, and 15 parents, Patricia conducted weekly character development lessons along with sensitizations about the importance of education and consequences of dropping out for both girls and parents. She also increased community awareness about the issue through hand-outs and speeches. Success Story: Patricia sought out organizations and individuals who provided financial sponsorships for the girls who had dropped out.
AKORO EUNICE Issue: School drop-outs Venture: In Alcae village Eunice sensitized girls and parents about the dangers of dropping out of school and shared the importance of girls' education. She even made home visits to follow up with those girls who were still in school and met with drop-outs to understand why they dropped out. Success Story: Local doctors got involved and taught the girls about birth control.
ATHIENO GLORIA Issue: Unemployment. Venture: Gloria worked with 10 unemployed girls and 10 parents in the village of Kamwokya, conducting sensitization classes on job research, market research, and empowerment. Success Story: Gloria developed a fruit and juice-making program to teach the girls and parents skills. She was able to generate income to support her venture as well as to help unemployed girls start small projects of their own.
BALUNGI HARRIET Issue: School drop-outs Venture: Harriet worked in Nabikool village with five girls in school, five who had dropped out, and five parents, equipping them all with entrepreneurial skills. Together they began income generating projects to help increase their income in order to afford school fees. Harriet sensitized parents about the values and benefits of educating their children. Success Story: Together the group raised two pigs. Selling them produced enough income to buy books, pens, and uniforms to ensure the girls could return to and stay stay at school.
KABARULI JOSEPHINE Issue: Early marriage Venture: In Kiisara village, Josephine worked with girls in grades 5 to 7, teaching them how to support themselves and not rely on older men. She taught them handicrafts and how to raise pigs which resulted in income to help cover their school fees.
BAKIEHAHWENK KELLEN Issue: Gender-based violence Venture: Kellen worked with 25 women in Nyakitabiremuhanga Kabala who were victims of domestic violence. She held monthly group meetings so the women could share their experiences and Kellen provided women's rights training. Locals stakeholders trained the women in making handcrafts so they could earn money for their families and she engaged husbands in supporting what their wives were doing. Having separate income and knowing their rights helps women feel empowered and independent and men are less likely to abuse their wives once they are aware of their legal rights. Success Story: Once the community saw the work that the women had done, they helped create a marketplace for their products.
ASIIMWE POLLINE Issue: Girls' education Venture: Through twice weekly meeting with six at-risk school girls and weekly meeting with their parents, Polline provided sensitizations about the causes and consequences of dropping out of school. She also helped the girls develop their own income generating projects so they could support their own education. She also invited an inspirational speaker three times to motivate both girls and their parents. Success Story: Getting the parents involved in the sensitizations help to strengthen the bond between parents and their daughters, helping to minimize the rate of school drop-outs.
KANSIIME ROSE ABWOOL Issue: Early marriage and pregnancy Venture: Rose met weekly with 15 beneficiaries, including five women, five girls still in school, and five girls who had dropped out of school in Kyagabukama. She sensitized them to the causes and consequences of early marriage and pregnancy and taught them the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Rose also sought out seek a nurse to speak about the issue and she created plays about the issue with her program participants. Success Story: Rose was able to hire a trainer who taught her beneficiaries income generating projects so they could become self-sufficient and create a future for themselves.
ALINAITWE WINFRED Issue: Early marriage and pregnancy Venture: Winfred hosted classes on the causes, dangers and effects of, and how to avoid early marriage and pregnancy for 15 primary school girls between the ages of 14-18 years and one teacher in Busuga village. Winfred also provided entrepreneurial training in both animal care and soap-making so parents and girls would not feel that early marriage was the only option in life.
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