Weʼre raising £4,000 to Championing Girl leadership and Girl Education through Young Peer Captains (YPCs).
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Championing Girl leadership and Girl Education through Young Peer Captains (YPCs).
These will work with girl led groups, in school and out of school adolescents in the fishing communities of Jinja district, Uganda. They will focus on changing social norms, attitudes and behaviors that allow child marriage and early unions to continue. They will also work to better girls’ access to Sexual and Reproductive Health education, information and services while restoring hope and giving social and emotional support to those who have already been victimized by child marriage.
Who is it for?
The funds are for the training and facilitation of YPCs to champion change by reaching out to the fishing communities within Jinja District, Uganda. The YPCs will conduct peer-to-peer mentorship and education sessions. They will also conduct advocacy campaigns to local and national leaders to end Child marriage in the fishing villages of Jinja district.
What is the problem we trying to solve and why we care about it
Fighting child marriage, early unions and teenage pregnancies in the fishing communities of Jinja District, Eastern Uganda.
The Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2016 indicates that 20.7% of mothers in Busoga region are between 15-19 years. However, the prevalence is disproportionately high in fishing communities. In the fishing communities (fishing/landing sites) in Jinja district, there exists high levels of poverty and diverse cultural norms. These have driven many families into marrying off their daughters to fishermen in order to gain wealth through the acquisition of bride price.
The girls in the fishing communities are easily lured into early sex resulting into early pregnancy because of the need for money to acquire needs. Apart from poverty as a cause of the above, there are cultural beliefs among fishermen that aggravate such occurring. For Example, fishermen in these communities believe that when one has sex with a young girl, they will catch more fish. As a result of teenage pregnancy, most girls dropout of school, or attempt unsafe abortion thus putting themselves at risk of complications of unsafe abortion like sepsis and death. Some who carry pregnancies to term face serious birth complications like obstetric fistula. Some of the girls are forced by their parents to marry the men who have impregnated them in exchange for dowry. These are in most cases regarded by society as misfits.
However, in some families, the parents force the young girls into marriage with fishermen to get money in exchange, to sustain their families. For these girls it is after these forced marriages that they become pregnant, resulting into the above consequences.In most cases these marriages are abusive and these girls do not have capacity to bargain for safe sex which puts them at a risk of acquiring HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Following school dropout and (or) child marriage, these girls cannot get access to better employment opportunities and stand to rely on their husbands for financial support. This further cultivates the poverty among the communities since these girls are not part of the economically productive members of the community and most of them have lost hope.
Our program will be championing Girl leadership and Girl Education. We shall also focus on changing social norms, attitudes and behaviors that allow child marriage and early unions to continue, while improving girls’ access to Sexual and Reproductive Health education, information and services.
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Joanita Babirye started crowdfunding