This project reaches out to address the needs of struggling young mothers and women in the communities we serve. One of the things we are passionate about is spearheading the fight against women/girl-child abuse/violence, with the hope of empowering and uplifting the standards of young mothers and women in our communities of operation. There’s a huge population of young mothers in Nebbi who have been victims of rape/defilement, deceit, forced marriages and/or illiteracy. And in most cases, the men responsible for fathering their children do not take responsibility for providing for them and their babies. As a result, all the burdens fall on the young mothers who are unskilled, uneducated and predominantly rely on subsistence farming in raising their children. This makes the vicious circle of poverty so difficult to break.
For this reason, this year we rolled out this project “The Strong Woman Project;” to support and empower these young mothers with a mission of making sure their rights are respected, they have access to legal guidance in sorting cases of violence and abuses against them and are economically empowered, are productive and self-reliant. We piloted the project in 2017 and were overwhelmed by the impact it had on the 5 women whom we worked with and this year, we, therefore, launched it to enable us to reach out to more. Currently, we have 40 women whom we are working within this project.
One of the key focus of our work with these women is Ensuring they are economically empowered. This we are doing by offering them life skills training opportunities in areas such as; Small scale Business Management and/or entrepreneurship skills, Tailoring, Catering, Carpentry, Hair Dressing, Soap Making, Candle Making, Weaving, and establishing Community/Village Savings Scheme; among others to enable them have the ability to work and make some income.
In addition to these skills, we also offer small financially support/capital for those with passion for starting small scale business ventures to make sure they can achieve their dreams. The women and bound together within the Community/Village Savings and Investments group. They have split into 5 groups and meet once every week to save at least $1 for the week in their village saving groups and give out small business loans from their savings to any of the members in need. Through this venture, we are promoting a savings and investment culture among the young mothers in a bid to make sure they can become self–reliant and productive.
Additionally in the future; we also plan to enroll some of the interested young mothers into Functional Adult Literacy (FAL) Classes to help improve their reading and writing skills. With these skills acquired, we know that these ladies will stand strong with their heads lifted. It is the reason we greatly engage in the promotion of Girl Child Education to eliminate illiteracy among the women in our areas of operation and specifically in Nebbi. We believe in this way, they will finally have a say in their families and communities as well for they have become “Strong Women.”