Women In Development
Last year November 2019 I had the opportunity to visit women in Katanga .
Katanga is one of the most densely populated slums in Uganda, the struggle for basic needs such as food, shelter, safe water and overall sanitation in this community enormous. As a result, a lot of bad practices like prostitution, theft, rape and child marriages happen in this locality. For families to survive, young girls are often married off or taken into prostitution as early as the age of 15!
There are lots of broken homes and families as many fathers disown or simply abandon their children and homes. This has led to many women baring the heavy burden of raising and fending for their children alone. It is through these visit that I met some of the women that are talented who earn a living from basket weaving, tailoring ,paper bead making, sewing to mention a few.
I spent time with mothers, teenage mothers in that community and spent time listening to their stories, I was struck by a haunting contrast. It was from these stories that Women In Development (WID) program was established to give a hand through training programs and empowering them to excel and be better at what they do. To empower and to be empowered has brought a change in their community and the nation at large as each one does their part.
Women In Development (WID) Project
IMPLEMENTERS: Pure Love Uganda
Because Katanga is one of the most densely populated slums in Uganda, the struggle for basic needs such as food, shelter, safe water and overall sanitation in this community enormous. As a result, a lot of bad practices like prostitution, theft, rape and early childhood marriages happen in this locality. For families to survive, young girls are often married off or taken into prostitution as early as the age of 15! There are lots of broken homes and families as many fathers disown or simply abandon their children and homes. This has led to many women baring the heavy burden of raising and fending for their children alone.
Pure Love Uganda believes in the child protection law in the international human rights, which safe guards children from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. The UN convention on the rights of the child is the most ratified international human rights treaty. The Child Rights Convention (CRC) was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20th Nov 1989 and it's ratified by 195 countries Uganda inclusive. It became law in 1990 September. According to CRC report the number of girls married before 18 years stands at 12m per year, globally 1/6 adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 are currently married. East and Southern Africa has the second highest proportion of married adolescent with about 27%. There are 6 actors in child protection systems, the child, family, the community, the state, civil society organizations and international organizations. The convention clearly ratifies that the rights of the child and their well-being is one of the goals to be achieved.
Article 5 of the CRC requires that the parents must fulfill their obligations; adding that (Article 5:2 of the convention) the state must support the parents in fulfilling their roles. It is from this background that Pure love Uganda wishes to partner with government of Uganda ,non-governmental bodies and other international stake holders in building and providing these young families with skills and tools to become socially and economically independent through skills training and sensitization programs.
In November 2019, Pure Love Uganda organized a fact-finding research and sensitization outreach in Katanga under the theme Women In Development (WID). This project was aimed at bringing awareness and hope to the women and the youth in the slum, as well as identifying prevalent challenges in the slum community. Pure Love Uganda went door to door collecting data through the chairmen of the area and a variety of problems affecting the community were identified:
In this community, 6 out of 10 women in Katanga are single mothers with about 5 children to each family.
Many women have lost hope and are not positive about life. In such a state, their dignity, and overall mental health is under threat, making them more vulnerable to undue exploitation and in some cases, suicide.
Malnutrition among children is a common occurrence due to poor feeding caused by the abject poverty
Many parents, mostly single mothers, are unable to take their children through school, due to little and unpredictable incomes.
Early childhood marriages, these are discriminatory practices committed regularly that communities have considered them acceptable.
Sexual violence against children is more in the slum. This can take route in sexual harassment, rape, sexual exploitation, pornography or prostitution.it can happen in homes, institutions, schools, workplaces.
Child labor is continued and may cause a threat to national economies and has serve negative short and long term consequences for the fulfillment of children’s rights. Children are forced to labor to bring money home. These end up doing prostitution jobs. No child should participate in any conflict either as a combatant or being used as a porter or cook or a cook running the same risk.
To jump start a long term solution to the income struggles of the vulnerable women living in these slums
To establish sustainable income generating projects, based on easily accessible local raw materials and readily available semi-skilled labor
To enhance the creative, marketing and financial skills of the women.
To create a culture of teamwork and apprenticeship among this already closely knit community
To establish market links and outlets for deserving home-made products.
To promote mindset change away from the foreign products fixation to a healthy appreciation of authentic and qualitative Ugandan products.
Pure Love Uganda intends:
To establish a training Centre for women where periodic skills development training programs can be conducted.
To encourage mindset and behavioral change among the women through sensitization from experienced and credible individuals.
To set up a strategically placed showroom where their products will be displayed for sale. This will mostly target the corporate world, tourists and international travelers.
Pure Love Uganda will be mandated to look for market, engage in conferences, summits and other events both local and international, to help showcase to such potential clientele.
Pure Love is a registered company and would like to work with international government bodies to do business with government and compete in the bidding processes when and as they may arise.
Pure Love Uganda is in the process of encouraging women to form groups according to their skills sets for better coordination and resource allocation.
Because some women are denied the right to work by their spouses, Pure Love Uganda plans to engage husbands and appeal to them to support and empower their wives.
Through this project multiple jobs will be created, for the skilled and semi-skilled youths, which will go a long way in empowering the participants’ households especially the young women who have till now been left behind.
It is also a skills development opportunity, for those whose meager incomes could not permit to advance any further.
A well-curated and catalogued range of quality Ugandan products is sure to emerge out of the hands-on training and use of modern equipment. Such quality assurance will promote the Buy Uganda Build Uganda culture.
As the products begin to find their space in the market, they will soon be bringing tax revenue to government.
Due to targeted sensitization in Katanga, we envisage an overall improvement in health, sanitation and the overall quality of life in that community.
With the economic empowerment starting at the household level, there’s bound to be positive moral/behavioral change leading to a reduction in prostitution, child marriages.
A showroom to show case and sell a range of assorted Ugandan products ready to claim their niche in the global market. This could be opened up locally but also internationally.
When Business and marketing programs were introduced to the women of this community through their small groups, it was discovered that some women produce items that can compete favorably with other products worldwide; items like African necklaces, bags, baskets, mats, outfits etc. Over 40 women with creative skills and others who were interested in acquiring new skills showed up for our first meeting and these women proved to us that they can sustain themselves through the skills they have if only their skills in weaving, knitting, baking, tailoring and the like, could be given a hand, developed to excellence and connected to some markets with better purchasing power.
The People Involved:
This project will be run by Pure Love Uganda with support from the Ministry of Trade & Industry. It will target the youth, particularly young mothers (Aged between 15-35) living in the Katanga slum area.
Phases of implementation
Community engagement & research (1 Month)
Market Research to identify potential markets and sellable products (1 Month)
Staffing & Staff training (1 Month)
Training the first intake / pilot groups (2months)
Procurement of inputs / materials and tools (1 month)
Active production of opening stock (2 months)
Targeted Products sampling in selected markets (1 month)
Data analysis from sampled consumers’ feedback (2weeks)
Design & Branding (1month)
Launching (1 Weekend)
Human resource shall be hired by Pure Love Uganda to fill any skill or man-power gaps.
Funding shall be mainly through grants, donations, product sales and to a limited extent loans.
• We shall also embrace and utilize the enabling government policies, which promote local entrepreneurship and innovations.
• Plus, harnessing the natural resources locally available such as raw materials for crafts and apparel.
Monitoring & Evaluation
Quarterly progress reports and impact assessment from all departments shall be required to ensure that participants operate in keeping with the collective objectives of the project as a whole.
Productivity levels shall also be monitored to ensure equitable returns on investment.
With excellent products, government support, effective internal finance management and supplementary investments such as farming, the project will eventually become self-sustaining
SUMMARY OF SUPPORT NEEDED BY Pure Love Uganda (PLUG)
Funding for the following:
To set up a women’s creative skills training Centre.
Art gallery for showcasing and selling of products.
Purchase of machinery such as electrical and domestic sewing machines
Showcase and sell the project’s items at government functions, summits and conferences both local and international.
Advertise on government social media platform like ministry of Trade, international platforms, Facebook and Websites.
Please view an indicative budget