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Women's Projects
Women Dancing - Bulaago big

Initially, UWCM trained and supported individual women on how to live positively with HIV/AIDS and these women then went out to encourage and support other women in similar situations within their communities.They offered spiritual and emotional support and friendship, as well as advice on basic healthcare and nutrition.

 

This then evolved into larger groups of (30) women  supported by UWCM and they are encouraged to start small income-generating projects, eg selling vegetables, dressmaking, bee keeping, goat rearing. UWCM encourage the groups to care for orphans in their communities.

 

UWCM staff visit every couple of months to run training workshops for all groups to share ideas and to encourage and learn from each other. Some of these Women's Groups are still going strong after 10 years.

The women’s department exists to support the most vulnerable women, teenage mothers, families infected and affected by HIV and AIDS and the general community to realize their full potential and live a dignified life. Efforts to achieve this are mainly done through capacity building at various levels in a number of activities that  help bring about sustainable development and transformation in the lives and communities targeted.

It is important to note that all the programmes in the department are community based and are at the grassroots level. Programmes undertaken are holistic in nature so as to improve the socio-economic, cultural and spiritual conditions of women, teenage mothers, families infected and affected by HIV and AIDS and the general community.

The department has  5 main Programmes namely:

 

a) Women empowerment through women groups,

b) Single teenage mothers

c) Community Mobilization Teams

d) Church and community Empowerment to respond to their    needs using locally available resources

e) Community Managed Micro Finance

 

family receiving mattresses

i) Training for women groups

These trainings aim at empowering women with knowledge and skills for self reliance. Issues covered include: women’s rights, HIV and AIDS prevention, IGA (Income Generation Activity) management and local resource mobilization, project cycle management, practical skills of baking, making necklaces among others. During the training, women are helped to realize and appreciate the need to pursue and as well protect their rights.

 

ii) Social support activities

These activities focus on improving the quality of life of the marginalized women children and people living with HIV and AIDS. They include:

a) Family support with basic household items such as clothing, blankets, cooking pans, food etc

b) Shelter improvement for marginalized widows, women, orphaned and vulnerable children and some of the people living with HIV and AIDS.

 

iii) IGA empowerment

These activities focus on improving productivity and creating opportunities especially for women to develop their own income generation activities. Women self help groups built around revolving goats, poultry and funds are a core in this component.

 

iv) Advocacy

UWCM’s advocacy work seeks social-economic and political change so that the marginalized poor women can have access to resources and freedom to exercise their rights. In doing so, UWCM responds to the particular call from God to defend the rights and dignity of the poor and vulnerable women, children and people living with HIV and AIDS.

 

Agnes Mutobo of Bududa Women’s Group says: 

 

I am grateful to UWCM as at first we women were full of self pity. I used to just sit at home and meeting with others was too much trouble for me but when UWCM trained us, I saw the need to meet with others so as to share ideas and even encourage those with challenges in their homes. After the training, I started making pancakes and sold them to school children. At the end of term, I had 100,000 – one hundred thousand shillings . I used this money to buy 5 turkeys and 5 hens. The hens produced and I sold the chicks and bought 4 piglets.  Now the piglets have grown and are about to conceive. I I hope to buy a cow when my pigs conceive and produce.  From this group I have learnt to plan ahead and I feel happy within me because I now own some property.

 

 

young mums & goats

SINGLE TEENAGE MOTHERS

Single teenage mothers are a group of young mothers aged 20 years and below who have conceived and given birth at an early age. They are a new group that UWCM  initiated  in 2007 with the aim of restoring hope and helping the girls reconsider their choices and develop a positive attitude towards life despite their current status (having a child at an early stage is considered to be a misfit in society). Support is given through: counselling and guidance sessions, skills training and a goat each as an income generating activity to help them raise an income to support themselves and their child, plus the milk from the goat supplements the child’s nutrition. Currently there are two groups of young single teenage mothers each composed of 30 members.

CHURCH EMPOWERMENT TO RESPOND TO THE NEEDS OF ITS MEMBERS

This programme was designed to empower the local churches within the communities to take the lead role in identifying and designing appropriate means of addressing the problems of the marginalized women, children and people living with HIV and AIDS within their localities.

COMMUNITY MANAGED MICRO-FINANCE

This program is aimed at fighting poverty through raising house hold incomes. Under this program, community members are mobilized into small homogeneous groups and they are sensitized to start up  savings and loan schemes within themselves. It should be noted that before this is started, every member of the group is encouraged to develop a vision and start saving to achieve that vision in the future.  Although in its infant stages, communities which have benefited from this program are very active and they feel it has reduced  the challenges of securing a loan from  formal banking institutions.

beads - group women

WABUKHASA WOMEN'S GROUP - this group of 30 women, based near the offices of UWCM, have been taught how to make beads and the income they raise from selling the jewellery allows them to pay school fees, buy some small extra items for their home eg bread and sugar, and gives them dignity and independence. 

beads - paper

 

The women buy pre-cut strips of paper which are then tightly rolled around a thick needle and the ends are stuck down.  The size and colour of the paper determines the size, shape and colour of each bead.

rolling beads

 

 

The beads are then threaded onto a long line, dipped in varnish and hung to dry.  When dry, the beads are removed and then re-strung into individual necklaces, bracelets, ear-rings, belts and bags.

beads - group women

 

Apart from enabling the women to earn a small income, the group also visit each other regularly at each other's homes to encourage and support one another.

beads - selection of beads (portrait)

 

The main problem they face is finding a regular market for their jewellery.  Often they don't have enough money to buy the necessary materials and they would like to be able to buy some tables to sit at, instead of sitting on the hard floor all day

If you are visiting UWCM and would like to support this project, please ask Edith Wakumire for details of how to buy some jewellery to take home and sell on their behalf.

esther1

STORY OF ESTHER RONGO, SUPPORTED BY OUR FAMILY INITIATED INCOME GENERATING ACTIVITY (IGA)

Esther Rongo is a young widow aged 26. Her husband died of AIDS, leaving her 3 children aged 7, 4 and 3.

When the husband died, the relatives of the husband chased her from the marital home and she became homeless. A kind woman showed her compassion by offering one of the rooms in her house where she stayed for some time.
Later she heard about Uganda Women Concern Ministry (UWCM) and visited them for advice and help.

esther2

As a short term assistance UWCM gave her a small grant of   Ug shs 180,000 to start an income generating activity.

She decided to trade in maize and beans - buying and selling. With the profits she was able to fend for herself and take care of her children. Later she started putting up a house using clay and mud. When it reached roofing level she bought timber but didn't have enough money to buy iron sheets. UWCM again came in to assist and bought iron sheets and roofing nails. Esther now has a shelter of her own.

Her business has expanded and even diversified to the point of employing men on a casual basis to help her break up stones into both hard core and aggregates (half inch) which she sells out to construction firms.

esther3

In her own words "My life has been transformed from hopelessness to a life of dignity. I am no longer despised. In fact I am now respected. This is because Uganda Women Concern Ministry helped me. May God bless UWCM and those who support it."

Esther's life was not only changed but transformed for the better and hope restored because someone cared.

UWCM provides an opportunity for anyone who cares to participate in women's transformational empowerment and development.

esther4

 

Profits from her business helped Esther to put up a shelter of her own. This is Esther and two of her three children standing in the door way of her own house.

 
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