July 20, 2020 by Luis Rubiera:

World Connect is a community sevice group doing research on countries that need our help. Community leaders from different countries submit proposals on a variety of projects to World Connect that will help their community. We looked at proposals from two countries – Ouganda and Senegal – and had a hard decision to make. We chose Ouganda because of the stories we heard about how the women in the community are being treated there and how they suffer in poverty. Because of those harsh conditions, they are forced to do anything they can for money. As a result, they get a lot of diseases. Here is how the proposal described the girls’ and womens’ daily lives:

On a typical day, adolescent girls and women wake up and go different villages looking for what to do for a living. For the few that still have their parents have gone back to their parents with their children. In fact, 3in 5 families in the Bwamiramira subcounty have their daughters and grand children living under the same roof after the daughters are forcefully divorced. The women and girls are the sole bread winners for their children for all basic needs like education, health care, and food. Most girls and women have resorted to alcoholism as they visit local alcohol brewing points in different villages where they provide cheap labour and they are paid one litre of local alcohol a day. They cannot sell off this alcohol to support themselves financially because there is no market for it other than family consumption. Children start drinking alcohol as early as 5 years due to the early exposure.

For our part, we did the research and decided on helping the village to build a health and wellness center. The Center will help the women and girls to get education about how to be healthy and to meet their basic health needs as well as help them with projects focused on their economic mobility. We will meet the people from the Ngangi Village in Ouganda over Zoom during our last week of the project and I am very much looking forward to meeting them.