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WGEF Founder, Karen Sugar, Recognized as Lifetime Leader

The Foundation for Global Scholars has recognized Karen Sugar, WGEF Director and Founder, for her dedication and leadership in women’s empowerment and journey towards equality. Karen was awarded the Lifetime Leader Award as a part of the Foundation’s Global Changemaker Awards.

The Global Changemaker Lifetime Award honors those intrepid individuals who have made a meaningful impact on a global level over the course of their lives and who inspire others to do the same. They have started international organizations, volunteered internationally, and/or invested time, resources and talents in other countries that helped improve lives and communities. They are role models for the rest of us.

All nominees will be honored at the annual international wine tasting event Eat Drink Travel on October 2nd at the Cable Center in Denver from 6:00-9:00pm.

Congratulations, Karen!

8th Annual Drama Festival – Kikopo Pa Mon

Our 8th Annual Drama Festival will be on October 2nd and 3rd this year in Gulu. The focus of this years events will be: Women and Gender Equity in Civic Participation

Why Civic Participation?
Due to the current political situation in Uganda, and heading into the 2016 elections, gender equity and civic engagement are more important than ever. The topic was chosen by WGEF peer counselors and staff. The day’s events will take place at the TAKS Art Center and the Hotel Bornah in Gulu Town.

In past years, the annual festival has addressed issues of gender inequality, violence, land rights, food security, HIV/AIDS and other issues facing women in northern Uganda. As part of WGEF’s drama competition, Kikopo Pa Mon, women in our Credit Plus program create original plays highlighting their stories using music, drama, and dance.

Women use the unique opportunity as a vehicle to directly speak to the men and community leaders who are 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 while providing many other benefits including maintaining and celebrating cultural traditions. The festival events provide a stigma-free environment in which to talk about sensitive subject matters; it promotes unity and team building, elevates women’s voices, and offers the opportunity to be creative and innovative. Th weekend is a celebration of the Acholi culture and history.

Literacy Program Update

This year, our goal is to continue to grow and expanded opportunity for adult literacy leaning to more women in Gulu. 216 women are participating at 2 learning centers in Gulu. Our program is reflective to the needs of women in the community and offers children the opportunity for early child development.

For the month of July women participate once a week to allow them time to attend to their agro business in this weeding period.

Impact on Beneficiaries:IMG_1609

  • The training has improved social communication for learners working in markets, they bargain well with their customers which has reduced on loses in their business and improved income.
  • Women are participating in other social programs provided by the government which has e improved their participation in policy formulation at lower levels hence fostering leadership development among learners at this time in Uganda there are country wide consultation for many political aspirants for the upcoming general election early next year in Feb 2016 women are participating in this process and they can present their proposals..
  • All learners can read and write their names, they can read this has built their self esteem
  • The basic business skills (business planning, and marketing). 2 model functional learning field have been set where women in the program experiment on best agro  practices which include fruit and vegetable  growing this has improved household income and nutrition all learners has a model garden at their homes.

“Illiteracy disempowered me for long time, and alMary Okenymost killed my ambitions as it does for many women in our community, for long I could not tell my views always feared but this is no more. When you lean so many things changes in your life a feel of being important, and the willingness to stop self isolation Is what I have discovered and I’m a happier and powerful woman than ever before.”

Thank you for the opportunity,

Mary Okeny –WGEF Client Gulu

 

An Update from Gulu

Through this period staff at the Gulu Office have conducted several Business Skill trainings to 72
Training_smallnew clients; conducted 3 GBV (gender based violence)​ sessions that comprised of our clients together with their husbands (partners) to address gender issues and domestic violence​;​ also to educate men about our program and its benefit to their families​.​ In total 47 men 55 women attended the sessions and all  was successful with men committing to tell their fellow men in the community about the benefit of Credit plus program. Below ​is ​a success story from one of group headed by Christine together with photos of the different trainings​. ​
I hope this short update will be useful and you find it important and continue to support us. ​
Bukenya Muusa
Program Directo​r​

IMG_4592Also in July, our intern from the University of North Carolina, Ella​,​ and team organised a soccer match between child mothers and girls in Gulu prison and WGEF​. The​ team including staff and our clients ​and​ was organized inside the prison and was attended by hundreds. It was fun and was a great opportunity to share the pressing needs of women in prisons​.

From Scratch to a Business Owner

Christine is 32 years old and lives in Gulu Town. She is married with 3 children two of them currently in school. For the past 3 year she was undergoing training with different Financial institutions in preparation to get some Capital (loan) to help her open a restaurant but to her disappointment whenever she finished the trainings, its became so had to get a security to guarantee her loan, simply because of her status in community her and her husband are discriminated because they were former captives during the insurgency often referred to as (Rebels). “It was great joining WGEF program that helped us form a 5 member group, trained for only some weeks and the only security is ourselves in the group, all my members we share common challenges and this has enabled us to come together. We started a group restaurant using a loan of $140 from WGEF. Our business is 1 year now and has expanded, we have employed 2 helpers to help serve our clients better”.

“To explain the benefits is had, but I feel that I can now freely interact with my community by serving them the discrimination is no more just in a short period. 2 of my children go to school and my husband is supportive after having attended WGEF training together, our success in business is changing our community perception towards many of our category making me so proud. At least we have a program that allows us to make our choices, and give us financial support to help us realize our goals”

– Christine Ayaat- Client Gulu

Next Ten Challenge Partnership with the Huff Post

You now its been a good day when Arianna Huffington, media mogul and powerhouse, tweets about your good work. We at Women’s Global Empowerment Fund were lucky enough to catch Huffington’s eye as a part of the Next Ten Challenge. In partnership with Crowdrise, an online crowdfunding platform, the Huffington Post is celebrating its tenth anniversary by highlighting the ten major issues that will shape the next decade. One of those issues is “Empowering Women to End Poverty”. Women’s Global was selected as one of the organization’s making real progress in providing women the tools they need to end poverty in their communities. Read more about the Next Ten Challenge here!

Support Women’s Global on Crowdrise