Teenage Pregnancy Essay Competition [SRH Programme]

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

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

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

20th March 2017

Ssesanga Nasser Shafatinho is a student participating in our Teen Voices programme for boys. In this programme, students learn to think about gender (in)equality, women’s empowerment and issues regarding this in their daily life. By writing articles, they learn to elaborate their thinking and reflect on their situation. Teen Voices articles are currently published on Teen Voices New York and FeministWednesday. My mother was a Musoga from Luuka. She married a Muganda man from Mubende. And that man is my father. When he married my mother, my father already had two wives. My father was a boat engine mechanic on a certain Island in Mayuge. I was born in 2004. My mother was a nurse on the same island. The time came when my father didn’t get enough money, and there were some prostitutes who were begging him for money. My mother became angry when my father stole my mother’s engine and sold it to build a house and put another wife in it. My mother divorced him but it was not a serious divorce. She worked and worked and she got money. She bought many houses and bought a plot in Iganga and built a nice house there. However, because she was busy she didn’t have time to be in that house – so she found a wife who

14th March 2017

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On the 2nd of March, WIL Uganda celebrated International World Book Day. If you mull that sentence over for a couple of times, it begins to look strange. World Book Day is not a holiday proper. It is on a par with World Pet Day. Far from everyone knows of its existence and, I submit, fewer remember the date. Reactions are usually ‘ah, is that today?’ instead of ‘Happy World Book Day!’

Not so in Uganda. Together with Noraly and Joseph, I picked up a group of students from Townside High School. I preach my love of books and reading here during the weekly book club that is part of the Literacy programme. While walking back to the office, I wonder. Is WBD really for us? For them? They hardly have books, there is no reading on the curriculum in schools. Could they name one Ugandan author? We make it to the office a little before 11 and show them around. Even though our event is outside, it is worth the slight delay to show them the inside: some of their pictures are on our walls. There is a mixture in the air of stolid concentration and elated excitement when they find a picture of themselves. Outside, where we have decorated the outer office with banners that Joseph whipped up, and an easel with Poppy’s delightful summary-in-drawing of Harry Potter, we explain the day’s objective. They are to read a story, in groups of 5, sum

9th March 2017

“Football! We really want to play football,” was the unanimous response of both teenage girls and grown-up women to the question what they wanted to do on International Women’s Day. Football and sports are generally a man’s thing, here. But on International Women’s Day, March 8, women decide what the festivities look like. [text continues after photo] International Women's Day Football At 11:30AM, the girls and women lined up at the football pitch. The girls, all from schools where we run our programmes, played in sporty shirts and stretchy skirts. The women, all participants on our community programmes, wore festive traditional dress: bold dresses with pointy shoulders, bright colours and the occasional glitter. Barefoot, laughing, yelling and screaming, they ran across the football field. An energetic match followed by a dramatic series of penalties eventually resulted in victory for the girl’s team.

“I am very happy to be part of these women on this day”

The International Women’s Day festivities continued at WIL Uganda’s office in the center of the village. Girls from local high