Celebrating sustainable impacts of our past and current projects
WASH Project Success Story: School Management Committee Member, Mugeya Primary School
“… you have given our learners freedom…the freedom to select which stance to go to, it might seem small, but they never had such an opportunity as they frequently queued up to use 2 stances—which were not even ours. Some would go to the bush, but now they have the privacy, they can now ease themselves whenever they like, in a safe place that provides them privacy.”
“During the last lockdown in May this year, my young sister got pregnant, she is only 16. My father was devastated and I was very disappointed. I come from a poor rural family in Kaluba Village, Mayuge district. I was very angry about what happened…I had high hopes for her but now things changed. My father sent her away from home to stay with another relative, but she ran away 3 days later to start marriage to her 22-year-old boyfriend. When I was selected for training as a youth advocate, it gave me the opportunity to speak out against something dear to me. I had just seen the impact of sexual violence in our family and through the training, I learned how to speak out for issues concerning us—the youth.
I had known about sexual violence before but I did not know that its magnitude was very huge. I also learned that when I see someone being abused, I need to take action and even report, to my parents, the LC, or even the police. I must speak out against violations of others…
There are things that I used to do that I stopped after realizing their negative effect. I had many sexual partners, but I had to stop the relationships. There are more dangers from having multiple partners than what I used to gain. At the moment, my goal is to positively influence other youths in my village. I have taught my 10 friends about sexual violence; forms, effects, and what to do when one does it. Some of them told me that it is hard to control their sexual urges, but I have told them that they need to think about their future. Whenever they get that urge, I tell them to reflect on the impact of experimenting; something that does not even take 10 minutes may affect you for the rest of your life.
I am very happy that Community Concerns allowed me to teach other young people over the radio. Many of my friends listened to the show; my father was very happy and felt proud of me, he knows that the path I took will lead to a better life. I met district education officials and counselors of Mayuge district. We told them our concerns and the education officials promised to take action next year to address sexual violence in schools. I hope they live up to their words.
Furthermore, I hope we can continue reaching out to more young people, especially those who might miss listening to the radio through dialogues. We need to bring young people together to discuss issues that affect them at the village level, I am certain, we shall see change.”
Sexual Violence Project Success Story: Deborah—15 years, Senior Three, St. John S.S.S Buwaya, Mayuge
“When the LC I chairman of our village got to know that I had been trained about sexual violence, he was very happy. Over the past 2 weeks, he has been speaking to parents of adolescent girls, especially those at risk of experiencing violence, directing them to me to teach them about violence. Nearly every day, I can speak to between 4 to 10 girls. I always teach them the forms of sexual violence, what to do to prevent it, how and where to report it.
I am grateful for the opportunity that Community Concerns provided me to be trained as a youth advocate. Personally, the training helped me to understand how to communicate better, especially when saying no to unwanted sexual advances. I learned that when I say no, I should stick to it and not only say no but also engage in actions that indicate that I am not interested. I also learnt how and where I can report.
While working with the LC I, I have realized that in our village, some adolescents are scared of reporting cases of violence due to shame associated with it; some are scared of what the perpetrator will do…while others do not know where to report. So, I have taught my fellow adolescent girls ways of preventing themselves from sexual violence. I have also taught them what to do in case they are violated and where to seek support.
I do this on a one-on-one basis (based on the LC recommendations) and other times, I speak with girls in groups. Last week, I came across a case of child abuse and neglect. One of our neighbour’s children… She is 14 years but looks after 3 children without any adult supervision. I also got to know that she was raped by one of the family members 2 months ago. So, I approached the LC and told him about this case. He spoke with the parents of this girl and there is now an adult supervisor. I also worked with the LC I to report this other case of rape. I hope to follow up on the case and see what happens.
I think Community Concerns should train more girls like me to teach other girls how to prevent and report sexual violence. So far, my biggest challenge is that I lack counseling skills. Some of the girls I speak to need an adult counselor to provide psychosocial support. I also suggest that the organization should provide T-Shirts to its youth advocates so that we can be easily identified in the villages. I like what I am doing and I know that it will bear fruits.”
Group Saving Project Success Story- Bukooli Group - Nekesa Margret
My name is Margaret Nekesa, a 32-year-old single mother of 2 children and a new member of Bukooli Group Savings Project (GSP) sponsored by Community Concerns Uganda Initiative (CCUg) in Mayuge district, Uganda. My mother (Sarah Namukose) has been a long-time member of this GSP and recommended me to join this group. At first, I was a bit hesitant because I had fear of losing my savings at the end of the year based on my past experience with different groups I had joined in previous years in Iganga district where I used to live.
But my mother managed to convince me by explaining the benefits she had achieved ever since she started saving with Bukooli group since 2019 under Community Concerns Uganda Initiative. I finally joined the group in January 2022 and immediately started saving with the intention of starting a business to sustain myself and my 2 children. During the first 6 months, I took a loan of 700,000 shillings and started up a local brewing business (Waragi Selling), being mentored and monitored by my mother, who introduced it to me. Luckily enough, the business prospered and started making reasonable profits of 15,000 daily. I used the same money to buy food, to pay rent and school fees for my daughter. I also began a small liquid soap making business that pays for my food costs.
In July 2022, I bought a piece of land 60ft by 30ft in Bunyiro Village at 3 million shillings with a balance of 1 million due which I got the money from my annual savings in the Bukooli Group Savings Project in December and completed the payment. I am so happy, because soon, I am to be called a landlord. I now have land and my plans are to save more money this coming year (2023) in the group so that I can get a bigger loan to start buying materials to build a house little by little. Thank you CCUg for making my dream come true. Who knew that Margaret Nekesa, poor woman from Bukooli, could also own land? I am very grateful to CCUg for bringing such important trainings in financial literacy and management to me. It really taught me to be empowered economically and to know how to manage my finances very well. May God bless you for the work you do for women like me.