International Day of the Girl Child – 11th October 2017

30th October 2017

  On October 11th, it was the international day of the girl – a day which is to specifically celebrate girls worldwide. Every girl, of every nationality has the right to free education. With around 130 million girls worldwide not in education, there is still so much work to be done to support girls. At Women in Leadership, we aim to empower young girls and women to become leaders within their community. We do this by working with local schools and health centres to educate them on their rights as a woman. To celebrate the International Day of the Girl, we decided to have an office debate on the issues that women and girls are currently facing both in the UK and Uganda. Although very different cultures, we found that many of the issues were universal. Within the UK there is still a significant gap with gender pay. Many women within the UK are doing the same job titles as men and are still receiving lower salaries. Because of this, there are significantly lower numbers women within senior management positions. Another contributing factor to this is the lack of support that women have during and post pregnancy. We spoke about schemes and initiatives which the government is introducing to help women with multiple children and nursery fees. Within Uganda there is a lack of women within community leadership positions. This is due to the role of a women being seen as p

Posted in Blog by sarah
17th August 2017

written by Leah Kenny In July 2017, WIL Uganda held an essay competition on “Teenage Pregnancy: Problems and Prevention” in three partner secondary schools. WIL Uganda’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) programme runs after school hours across different schools in Busembatia. The programme covers topics ranging from menstrual hygiene to protecting yourself from sexually transmitted diseases. In rural Uganda, teenage pregnancy, and subsequently school drop-outs, are very common. Students who attended the SRH classes were encouraged to participate in the competition. The invitation was also extended to all students in the schools. We received many essays from students in their first, second and third year of secondary school. The essays showed the students had understood the consequences of teenage pregnancy and how it can be prevented in their communities. Essay competitions like these, are an important way to get students to think critically about sexual and reproductive health issues. The essays were judged on their style, but more importantly on their content. The prizes for 3rd, 2nd and 1st place were given out in each school at the end of term. The winning essays were ones that stated a number of social, economic and health consequences of teenage pregnancy. In addition they recognised the importance of: sex educ

18th July 2017

Every year, WIL Uganda celebrates International Women’s Day on 8 March. We invite women and girls from the community and our programmes to celebrate with us, promoting women’s empowerment. In this article Rebecca (part of our Teen Voices programme) shares her view on this festive day. In every year all Ugandan’s and the world at large remember and celebrate this day. The reason as to why they celebrate is that women are the owner of this country, so, because of this, the President of Uganda Museveni Kagauta Yowert decided to give the women opportunity to have recognition in the country and world at large. Every woman is celebrated, and everybody is in interested in the day. So many women are now members of parliament – ministers – and they always support this day because they have it as their pride from the government. Its good because it helps the younger girls know their rights, makes people aware about what women go through.

“The celebration of this day promotes equality in the country”

When Uganda joins the whole world in celebrating this day, states like Britain, USA and others can give financial assistance to Uganda. This can help Uganda to construct good roads, hospitals and school hence contributing to the economic development of the country. The celebration of thi

29th June 2017

written by Leah Kenny I take a short boda ride from Busembatia to Bulogoda every week on a Wednesday morning. I have been living in Busembatia for one month now, where alongside Meg, I have been running the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) programme. Part of our programme involves delivering sessions to women at health centres, before they attend their antenatal clinics. We do not need a lot for these sessions, aside from a plan and a large box of condoms. As we pull away from the slightly hectic main street of Busembatia, it gets quieter and the houses increasingly sparse until much of what you pass are large fields with women and children busy working on them. Bulugoda Health Centre appears to our right. It is a small two-roomed Level II Health Centre. This means that it is supposed to serve up to 5,000 people and provide preventive, promotive and outpatient services. Although it does not provide maternity services, we are told that sometimes emergency deliveries are performed here. Ruth shows us where the placentas are disposed of, out back. As you pull up to the health centre, you are distracted by a large tree

21st June 2017

written by Meg Beare There are lots of ways in which teaching in Busembatia sometimes seems like an insurmountable challenge. At times the SRHR [Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights] team of Leah and I truly feel like strangers in a strange land. The classrooms we teach in are unplastered with no glass in the windows. Inside they are dark and cramped; desks packed so tightly together that students climb over each other to get to their seats.

“There is little to no formal education about contraceptives, so when they become sexually active, their reproductive control is limited”

But the state of the classrooms doesn’t even figure as a concern here. The girls who pile into our classrooms face sexual health challenges that are immediate and intense. A quarter of girls in Uganda between ages 15 to 19 are pregnant or already have a child. There is little to no formal education about contraceptives, so when they become sexually active, their reproductive control is limited. In addition, poverty makes them easy targets for older men,

12th May 2017

Jamie works as Adult Literacy intern for WIL Uganda. Every weekday, he reaches out to women in the community to teach them English. But there’s more to teaching English than just learning new words: empowering women is what our organisation is about. “Mulija Bukonte. Ndi musomesa,” I answer the conductor on the matatu. He asked me where I was going and what I am doing here. I am a teacher and have been working in this community in Busembatia for 3 months now. Today, Joseph and I reach out to Angela in Bukonte. Angela and many women like her on our programme have received little or no formal education. Their levels vary greatly, but what they have in common is their age-bracket. They are all adults, and I am, as of three months, an adult literacy teacher. I have been a teacher for quite some time now, starting as a private tutor. I taught a skills course at my university during my BA and MA. Most recently I have been working with students that had been in conflict with the law, or came from turbulent at-home situations or had had an otherwise bumpy ride in life so far. What they had in common was a healthy dislike for school, class and teachers. Getting them to pay me some attention other than utter disdain was a daily battle. I thought teaching adult women who came to us of their own volition would be a stroll

5th May 2017

“Many women here are not married and are finding it hard to live a good life.”

Ruth is a mother of 7. She is proud to be. Ruth is happy here in Busembatia. She is glad to be able to further her education. Her mother lives in nearby Namatumbe. She’s still alive and for that Ruth is thankful. “I am happy with my family. I am happy to be married and have a home to live in.” Many women here are less fortunate. They have to raise a lot of children alone, says Ruth, because men chase them away.

“If someone fails to marry, that’s a very big failure. Then you are not a good community member.”

It is a common problem. Ruth has seen it happen to women in her community. Women will have children with a man and believe that to be enough prove of marriage. Men, she says, are desperate and often unsatisfied with their wife. “When he sees a beautiful women he tries. In that desperation he produces a lot of children without self control.” He will then ignore his responsibilities. The women are left to fend for themselves. They will not have a marriage certificate. “They have nothing to fall back on.”

“Women should know how to go into marriage. They should know they are not supposed to be

27th April 2017

We introduced the crafts programme in 2015, after requests from local women to help them gain an income generating skill. Our mission was to teach women and girls a skill, which could enable them to earn an income to sustain themselves and their families.

By Cianne Jones – I struck up a conversation with a businessman recently, about the pros and cons of the new trend in organisations setting up social enterprises in developing countries. Social enterprise can be defined in many ways. A common definition is ‘an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being’. This may include maximizing social impact, alongside profits for external shareholders. Our main discussion was over whether these social enterprises were truly sustainable. The businessman argued that the social enterprises that are set up in developing countries are generally set up by people who lack business acumen. This impacts on the sustainability of the enterprise. The people that the businessman was referring to were the so-called “do-gooders” or western NGO’s. He gave me an example of a social enterprise that he visited in East Africa, which didn’t appear to have a clear business plan. Indeed profit to them appeared to be a dirty word, as if social enterpris

30th March 2017

Alice Knights, former intern for WIL Uganda’s Crafts programme, is now back in Uganda. We interviewed her about her experience as an intern, her motivations and the challenges she met during her stay.

You interned for WIL Uganda. Now you’re back and working in Jinja for another NGO. What brought you back?

I interned with WIL Uganda in October 2016 and had a really great experience with them. And yes, now I’m back. This time it’s more permanent. I’m working for Soft Power Education, who work to improve quality of life for children in Uganda through education. I had actually been to Uganda twice before interning with WIL Uganda so I knew the Jinja area quite well and after interning with WIL I knew I wanted to find a job using my International Development degree there.

Where it all began: WIL Uganda. What made you choose this specific NGO?

I found the internship with WIL Uganda on idealist.org while I was looking for jobs. I literally could not believe my luck when I saw the job description for the Crafts internship. It encompassed four of my biggest passions in life: women’s empowerment, crafts, development and Uganda. I remember ringing my sister straight away and telling her a

27th March 2017

Written by Zai, WIL Uganda’s office manager Women In Leadership, WIL Uganda, is a registered non-governmental organisation which aims at empowering both girls and women. It was founded and started its operations on 03/08/2014. It has various projects that aim to fulfill its mission of empowering both women and girls. Some of these projects are carried out in schools and others in out of school communities. The organisation had a very humble start: we had no office space, it was operated as a community based organisation, our team was small and it consisted of only five national volunteers and one international volunteer who is the director.

The first year with WIL Uganda

The beginning was not completely easy for me. I had to move from Jinja to Busembatia, a village I had never been to before. Whilst in the village, I taught adult literacy learners every Sunday afternoon between 2pm and 5pm. On other days, Wednesday and Thursday, I was running the Leadership programme at Townside High School. This was my weekly routine schedule. After a while, we got some office space and this was one of our greatest achievements in a very short time. After a year, due to our good combined effort and its effect on the community, we