Women’s Global clients celebrated International Women’s Day in Gulu, Uganda on March 4-8 with a series of debates, discussions, and mentoring sessions for girls. On March 8, in recognition of IWD 2015, women (and men) marched for equality, justice and each other.
As we made the six-hour drive from the capital to Gulu, everything felt like it was falling into place. I had never been somewhere so entirely different from home that still felt so comfortable. Before leaving, I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself into; I watched the news, did plenty of research, and chatted with friends who had volunteered elsewhere in Africa. I felt confident, knowledgeable, and prepared, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Every preconceived notion and first-world misconception I had of Africa was shattered. After living amidst conflict for so many years, I expected the survivors to be a broken and bitter people, but I have never felt so genuinely welcomed by a community. Irene, who worked at our hotel, hugged us every time we saw her. Joyce, a WGEF client and force to be reckoned with, invited us into her home and called us her daughters. The city I call home the rest of the year is big and cold, and people hardly smile at each other. This was culture shock in the very best way.
Check out Rent The Runway’s blog featuring WGEF & Founder, Karen Sugar as one of their favorite women-led charities!
It’s Here! WGEF’s 2014 client survey, highlighting the critical impact of our program for women and families in northern Uganda! The results show:
Kikopo Pa Mon Gulu: Creating a Voice for Women in Gulu
To address the issue of gender inequality, violence, land rights, food security, HIV/AIDS and other issues facing women in northern Uganda, Women’s Global Empowerment Fund hosts a yearly drama festival, Kikopo Pa Mon. Women in our Credit Plus program create original plays highlighting their stories using music, drama, and dance.
Performances focus on the issues of inequality, education inequity, HIV and violence. This year the topic, chosen by participants, is resiliency, peace and security. Women used the unique opportunity as a vehicle to directly speak to men and community leaders who were in attendance. Because the issues addressed are sensitive and can be difficult to discuss directly, using music, dance and drama offers a different way to communicate and provides many other benefits, including maintaining and celebrating cultural traditions.