Blog & News

Breaking the Silence – Domestic Violence Training for Peer Counsellors

“I feel I have the right skills and I clearly understand my personal qualities, I will be able to take actions to lead women in my community to protest against domestic violence against any body in my Community”

WGEF Client and Leader

WGEF conducted a 1 day Breaking Silence about Domestic Violence training for 22 peer counsellors, to equip them with skills to support themselves and their group members. It is critical for peer counselors to learn about the root causes and effects of domestic violence in the communities they serve in. Due to increased cases reported to our Access to Justice office WGEF offered to equip peer counsellors with the skills necessary to respond to cases of domestic violence especially against women and children. These include rape and kidnap and in worst cases murder. A lot of time these cases go un reported because of fear and the lack of effective support system to respond and provide justice to the victims. As a result, many suffer in silence.

The training focused on developing skills and personal qualities so that peer counselors can develop and strengthen their ability to take action against domestic violence in their communities.

“I feel I have the right skills and I clearly understand my personal qualities. I will be able to take actions to lead women in my community to protest against domestic violence against any body in my Community”

Margret WGEF Peer counsellor, Gulu

The training was hosted at Gulu Women’s Resource Centre. Attended by 22 peer counselors and 6 WGEF staff who interacts with WGEF beneficiaries on a daily basis. An external facilitator together with the program Director conducted the training support by staff at Gulu Women’s Resource Center. Most of the trainee’s expectations were achieved and they requested for more follow up training in the near future. Action point were developed to form a basis for follow up, peer counsellors were advised to utilize the tall free line managed by the Access to Justice team to report any cases in their community for support and referrals.

Peer Counselors End Year with Reflection & Team Building

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

Women’s Assembly Hour Update 2017

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.

Key Achievement’s of the program

  • 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.
  • 36 women’s assemblies consisting of 3,560 Participants conducted
  • 520 listeners called in the program majority of them were men
  • The program has been listened to by over 1.2million listeners

Key Issues Discussed During the Radio Program Included

  1. Land ownership and widow inheritance
  2. Family planning and women’s reproductive rights
  3. Rampant murder of women in the country Insecurity Suicide
  4. Is local’s competition for investment helping the process of recovery
  5. Accountability for Recovery Development projects
  6. Domestic violence and suicide
  7. Drug abuse and unemployment

Moving Forward

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.

Think Globally On Colorado Gives Day!

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.

View the WGEF page on ColoradoGives.org »

More about Colorado Gives Day »

WGEF Annual Fund 2017

“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

Greetings!

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.

Read the full update in our newsletter archive for annual reports from the GULU Women’s Resource Center and our Healthy Periods Initiative.

close
FacebookFacebookFacebookFacebookFacebook