Imagine attending school or work without toilets or drinking water. Imagine attending a school with a single latrine for all the students, or that the latrine is smelly, with no toilet paper and the door no longer closes. Just imagine attending one of these schools when you have your period.
This is the reality for women and girls in lower income countries and vulnerable populations. Help us change this reality.
With the launch of HPI Global, WGEF is expanding the Healthy Periods Initiative, creating local manufacturing centers. Our goal is to have five machines in five centers operating in sub-Saharan Africa.
We cannot do this without you!
Our first expansion center is now open in the Lowengo District in southwestern Uganda. By producing products locally, we create local economies; providing resources and economic opportunities to women and communities through manufacturing and microenterprise.
A local supply chain provides sanitary products to the most vulnerable populations at little to no cost: school girls, refugees, displaced persons, and those who lack access to affordable products. HPI Global ensures women and girls have what they need to manage their menstrual health with dignity, enabling girls to stay in school longer, creating opportunities and empowerment for a more equitable future.
It’s about dignity, PERIOD.
Women’s Global and VacNet partnered to host a Youth Advocacy Forum for the first time at the Gulu Women’s Resource Center (GWRC) to address chronically high rates of youth unemployment – estimated at 70% in the Gulu District. Youth in the region have limited participation in the planning and governance, and lack leadership and advocacy skills, making youth involvement and participation in governance and development agendas unrealistic. The forum had a theme of “Get Inspired, Get Informed, Get Organized.”
The goal of the event was to inspire, educate and call on youth leaders in northern Uganda to become more vocal, well-informed, better-organized advocates and change-makers.
Mr. Okello Geoffrey, a seasoned human rights activist and Executive Director of Gulu District NGO Forum, facilitated the youth forum to share practical tips and tools. Fifty parish youth leaders gathered to learn about advocacy skills, tools and platforms to caucus and discuss issues that affect youth in their community, as well as suggest recommendations.
Today a team of 25 Peer counsellors our access to justice volunteers gathered at Gulu Women Resource Center (GWRC) to receive further training on community engagement skills, paralegal services, human rights, and conflict resolution. They were trained to share best practices and improve upon their work with a deeper understanding of the types and causes of human rights abuses/violations, monitor, document, and report cases in the community.
WGEF’s Peer Counsellors (PCs) are positioned at parish level and serve as mediators and a link between victims and service providers for fellow community members facing human rights abuses and violations. The issues they encounter range from land and property conflicts between family members to rape and defilement of adolescent girls. The Access to Justice program incorporates community dialogues aimed at sensitizing the community on their rights to access fair and timely justice and provide referrals to other service providers.
Recently, our access to justice team have been working with the probation office and police to process 35 more cases which have been a backlogged. Many of these cases involved women and children who are finally able to get justice.
“I believe that injustice can only be eradicated when women are able to take charge of their lives and claim their rights”.
— Betty WGEF peer Counsellor
Every year, the international community observes the World Population Day on July 11th This year’s World Population Day theme is: “Leaving nobody behind: Improving service delivery and accountability”. Uganda over time has put our population issues at the Centre of its development plans and programs.
As part of Gulu Women’s Resource Centre’s goal of providing women and community with current and critical information. GWRC hosted an information exhibition that attracted civil society, NGO, and Gulu University and Government departments all gathered at GWRC to commemorate the International Populations Day, while teaching and disseminating relevant information. This was an opportunity for 392 community members and school going children to access first hand information regarding health and sensitization about Teenage pregnancy which stands at 28 % in Northern Uganda.
According to statistics Infant mortality dropped from 122 deaths per 1,000 live births recorded in 1991 to 43 deaths in 2016, representing a 63 per cent drop. Maternal mortality also declined from 506 in 1991 to 336 in 2016, a decline of 34 per cent. Fertility has declined from the 7.4 children per woman recorded in 1988 to 5.4 in 2016, a decline of 24 per cent. At a population growth rate of 3.0 per cent, Uganda’s population has grown from 16.7 million people in 1990 to 34.6 million in 2014 and is expected to reach 40 million by the end of this year.
In spite of this progress and prospects children still die from immunisable diseases as well as those diseases that can be prevent through better hygiene like the promotion of hand washing using soap after visiting the toilet. The teenage pregnancy rate in Uganda remains high at 25 per cent and this has stagnated at that level for the last 10 years. This means that in Uganda, one out of every four teenage girls has had a baby before they reach 19 years old.
Teenage pregnancy rate in Northern Uganda is higher than the national average and stands at 28 per cent. According to the 2014 Census, crop production is the major economic activity in the districts. And 48 per cent of youth is neither in school nor working. Illiteracy among 10-30 years olds stands at 56 per cent. In addition, latrine coverage is low at 39 per cent and access to safe water is at only 53 per cent. The poor health conditions are mainly due to high poverty levels in the district and the high disease burden in the district is due to malaria, which is rampant and stands at 41 per cent.
“I commend the work of WGEF and VacNet for the initiative to open a community resource center in Gulu and for organizing this exhibition to sensitize the community but also helping the Government to disseminate information.”
Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi
Vice President, Uganda
GWRC provided a space through which all the above information was made available for the community to access LEAVING NOBODY BEHIND FOR IMPROVED SERVICE DELIVERY AND ACCOUNTABILITY.
The Exhibitions was officially attended by the Vice President of Uganda together with Members of Parliament who commended the work of WGEF in supporting the social transformation in Northern Uganda.