Aber, 34, is a senior woman teacher at Olwiyo primary school in Nwoya District. Her major role is to mentor and support young girls. Below is her story of courage:
“I will not forget this year 2020 in my life, the effects of the pandemic have robbed the future of many young girls. 8 girls have dropped out of school all of them are pregnant and 3 girls were forced to get married. When we open for candidates’ classes in October 2020. The number had drastically dropped from 42 to 29 girls this is sad and unacceptable we must do all what is possible to keep children at school it is the safest way to securing their future”
We are grateful as a school to be selected to benefit from the The Healthy Period Initiative. The timely response to engage girls and boys, parents, teachers and the community on menstrual health and hygiene. The constant supply of lucky girl sanitary pads to all girls before and during COVID-19 pandemic has resulted into girls not missing classes during their periods, their grades have improved and their self-esteem is boosted.
As a senior woman, all girls are my daughters. I want to see every girl join, stay safe, finish school and become career women in future. My school received 800 packs of sanitary pads from WGEF during COVID-19 lock down, with is support we were able two follow up our students and support them with pads a long side information on how to stay safe and avoid corona virus.
We should not give a chance to the disruptions of COVID-19 to destroy the future of children. Lastly, I thank WGEF for a well thought program that influences positive change in our community. “I take my self to be a lucky senior woman teacher as my lucky girls are because we are part of the Healthy Period Initiative”.
Long live WGEF –
Aber senior woman teacher
Olwiyo primary school
In her own words, interviewed by Bukenya Muusa, WGEF Program Director
Moreen aged 39, is a widow with three children and seven other dependents; all are refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo. Moreen, with other five members, formed a business group. She says WGEF came at a time she needed a hand to hold her from collapsing. “I had a timber business in Democratic Republic of Congo, when I lost all I had to the soldiers. I was on the verge of giving up on life as I had completely nothing.
A friend invited her to a WGEF training; a number of facilitators spoke and gave them hope, encouraging them to look at things from a positive angle. The facilitators told the story of a Bumble Bee that manages to fly even when many people thought it had no ability to fly. This motivated Moreen. During the training she learned about Enterprise Selection and Projected Income Statement that enabled her identify the business opportunity of growing and selling coffee.
After the training, she requests for an agro loan of $320 from WGEF and used it to buy coffee for selling; and used the balance to hire and prepare land for growing beans and maize and $217 for paying school fees. After harvesting, she raised $800 from two tons of beans and one ton of maize and also continued buying and selling coffee.
She has since diversified into a big supplier of produce linking the buyers from Gulu in Uganda with those in neighboring DRC who need all most food. Since 2016, she has been consistently working in this field and her daily sales approximate $81 per day. Her businesses are now is worth over $1500 (usd).
Moreen currently employs 4 workers. She has a daughter at Kyambogo University where she pays tuition of $400 per semester and another child in A-level. She is now very influential in her group and community as a whole.
“I encourage fellow women to stop over-depending on their husbands, they should start their own businesses with whichever money they have to have sustainable income in case their husbands are no longer there”.
Moreen thanks WGEF for putting a smile on her face once again.
In her own words, interviewed by Bukenya Muusa, WGEF Program Director:
Mary aged 30, has 5 children and dropped out of school at age 12.
“Before attending WGEF’s business skills training,” she says, “I was not doing any business but was depending on my husband for everything. I would endure all harsh words from my husband in order to survive. We briefly separated because I could not sustain the stress in our marriage.”
While staying with her sister home, she visited with the district chairperson who came to inform them about a business-related training organized by Women’s Global Empowerment Fund. She got interested and confirmed her participation. In that training, she learnt three critical issues that have enabled her to start and grow her business: diversification of business, how people have the same brain, ability, and how to save and invest.
After the training, she sold her goat for $29 and cultivated one acre of maize while at the same time brewing local ginger beer to support her farming activity. Mary has increased her savings with her group and used part of the savings to buy five goats valued at $32 each and has since multiplied them to 8 goats.
Mary’s capital has increased from $29 to $490; from farming, she raises an average of $217 per season and monthly sales of $21 from handmade ornaments.
“My husband came back and begged for forgiveness because he saw the progress in me and the family as we were feeding well and dressing properly,” Mary says. “We no longer have fights but rather support each other. We are able to keep our children in school and have started constructing a house.
Long live WGEF — Mary Omoro District Uganda
It hit us unaware. It caused … fear among the community members…At Women’s Global Empowerment Fund, we didn’t sit back amidst this fear. We went forward. We stretched out to help ourselves and help the community.
Please help us support the dedicated staffers in Uganda who are, indeed, stretching out so their communities can move forward.
The mission of Women’s Global Empowerment Fund is to support women through economic, social, and political programs, creating opportunities while addressing inequality; strengthening families and communities.
Moving into 2021, we need your help to continue providing opportunities and resources to women and girls. Please consider a year end gift to our Annual Fund effort, ensuring the fight for equality, dignity and justice continues.
COVID-19: Ensure women and girls eperiencing violence and exploitation have access to services, support and resources during the global pandemic. GWRC has received special permission to stay open for emergency response and service.
Ag Loans: Provide loans for women entrepreneurs managing small farms and agricultural businesses to support a strong local food system.
Leadership Development: Train and encourage women running for local and national elected office, ensuring women have a seat at the table.
Access to Justice: Expand the Initiative’s work to facilitate community dialogue and action on issues of human rights and gender-based violence in northern Uganda.
12,000+ new microloans and agricultural loans, enabling economic opportunities for women, creating stronger families and communities
500,000+ sanitary products delivered to schools, homes, and villages, and distributed at Gulu Women’s Resource Center
500+ women leaders serving in leadership positions across northern Uganda; women have a seat at the table, are highly trained, and ensuring women’s voices are heard