A sense of excitement, gratitude and joy was all over when a-team of 46 peer counsellors and group chairpersons from 5 Districts, mate at Gulu Women’s Resource Center to share the achievements of the year and also reflect, learn and plan for a big coming year 2018. WGEF values the meaningful participation of our grassroots structure headed by a team of powerful peer counselors. Meaning taking the lead in planning and implementation of our programs offers them the true vehicle for empowerment. true empowerment comes from women’s ability to participate and having a voice.
When I joined the team of peer counsellors I discovered my voice both from home, and my community, having a voice is the most important feeling in my life
Mary – WGEF peer Counsellor
The year 2017 saw WGEF launching the Women’s Assembly Hour radio program to enable rural and urban women to speak out about their needs, experiences and opinions about key issues affecting their communities. The Women’s Assembly hour (Dwon Lwak) is implemented as a forum in which community members (both women and men) come together to discuss their problems and find shared solutions. The program has provided the citizens of northern Uganda in both urban and rural areas an opportunity to discuss social and Political topics in a group. Supported with a team of moderators and technical staff from Radio Rupiny who travels to the most remote communities of Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro Districts, to participate and record the debates. The program has been broadcast every Friday of 1 hour since February 2017 and attended by local leaders in all communities.
WGEF hosted 36 community debates that were broadcast live on radio. Each community debate consisted of 80+ participants both men and women, in total 3,560 women and men have directly participated in the radio debate. The program attracted 520 calls in (people who calls in the radio during the program to ask questions), in total 1.2 million listened in the program especially during prime time.
A quick evaluation of the programs shows that the program is very popular. Local leaders take community view and complaints raised in the program seriously. Women’s Assembly has helped the community to hold local leaders and Civil Society Originations leaders to account. Through the community debates and broad cast, communities have organized themselves to engage on key issues that affects them Including insecurity, land related conflicts and domestic violence. The women’s assembly is filling in the communication and accountability gap related to government and democracy in the district, specifically it is providing access to relevant, accurate and comprehensive information which is a fundamental human rights.
Our plan is to double our reach by extending the program to 3 new districts targeting 1.3m listeners. In total we intend to reach to 2.5 million new listenership with massages and engagement.
Community First Foundation and FirstBank are presenting Colorado Gives Day on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. This annual statewide movement celebrates and increases philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. The $1 Million Incentive Fund created by the partners is one of the largest giving-day incentive funds in the country.
“I feel like I matter, from today instead of focusing on just survival, being given the opportunity to access credit for the first time then I have a new beginning and confidence begin to looking for ways to thrive in my life.”
Jennifer – WGEF Client, Omoro District
For over 25 years, I have been committed to understanding the complexities around poverty, inequality and justice. It is through this in-depth examination I founded WGEF and created the Credit Plus Model. What I discovered is that there are more than a few things you cannot learn in books, board rooms or well-constructed data: the resiliency of the human spirit, the tenacious desire to create, and the true meaning of sisterhood.
Working in a post-conflict region in Africa, with people who have experienced brutality, injustice and voicelessness, taught me more than I could have ever learned in the halls of academia, online, house of worship or a Ted Talk. It is a great gift, to truly know the capacity of human beings when treated with dignity and respect; supported through programs that amplify their voices and reclaim their communities. Every day WGEF works hard to ensure every woman in our program is supported to access resources, make choices and determine life outcomes – the definition of empowerment.
At the heart of our program is the most amazing and ‘least sexist’ man I have ever known, Bukneya Muusa. Make no mistake, this transformative and relevant program would not exist without my colleague, who has worked tirelessly every day for the last 10 years. His leadership has enabled WGEF to have assembled a most amazing staff; committed young Ugandans working in their communities to create change, fighting for equality, justice and families every day.
As I write this, it is seemingly a time of great upheaval in our world; live, give and work in your local and global community. We are all connected and together we can continue to work towards equality and justice. Thank you for your ongoing support of WGEF.
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