September is a busy month for many, as children get back to school and families settle back into familiar routines. Whilst things slowly return to normal for many of us, in East Africa Covid-19 is still disrupting life; restrictions remain in place and children have yet to return to school.
However, life in Uganda has not ground to a halt because of school closures. The challenges faced by many in rural communities, particularly teenage girls, are still the same as before the pandemic.
Fields of Life’s I AM GIRL programme is aimed at ensuring that girls are able to stay in education and reach their full potential. In order to do this, key community members are empowered to become I AM GIRL Champions, and receive training that they can share with the whole community. One passionate I AM GIRL Champion is Christine, from Kkalwe village in central Uganda.
Early last year Christine was selected as an I AM GIRL Champion for her village. She was trained in health and hygiene, and taught soap making skills. Another key part of her training was learning how to make Reusable Menstrual Pads (RUMPs), a skill that she could then teach to pupils in local schools. Unfortunately, lockdown hit Uganda and schools were closed before Christine could start putting her newfound skills to use.
Christine, like other I AM GIRL Champions across Uganda, wasn’t content to sit at home. As soon as restrictions allowed, Christine began to organise training in her village. Initially the aim was to teach teenage girls about taking care of their bodies, and how to make soap and RUMPs, but Christine soon found her audience growing.
She said “I have been able to reach more people than just adolescent girls. Many parents, both mothers and fathers, have found this training very helpful and cost effective. They have themselves learnt about health and hygiene, so this training is a benefit to the whole community.”
Thanks to I AM GIRL training, the school in Kkalwe will now be able to provide soap for pupils to wash their hands regularly, and families can maintain good hygiene at home. Other I AM GIRL Champions have been running similar workshops in their villages across Uganda.
Thank you for your faithful support, which is empowering women like Christine to transform their communities all across East Africa.