Project Focus: Empowerment and Development of the girl child in Uganda through Education and Behaviour Change Support
Project Location: Mukono – Uganda
Project Duration: 5 years
Implementor: Virtuous Woman Ministry – ChristHeart Ministries International
Project Budget: TBD
Contact Person: Pastor Deborah Mbuga – Founder / Overseer – Virtuous Woman Ministries – CHMI
The Girl Child & Development Project
Uganda’s Vision 2040 statement prioritizes gender equality as a cross-cutting enabler for socio-economic transformation, highlighting the progress made in the legal and policy arena, in political representation, and in lowering gaps in education. The National Development Plan II (NDP II, 2015-2020) prioritizes the empowerment of women and gender equality as a means to inclusive growth and social development.
In Uganda, girls and young women – especially those who have grown up in poverty – face several challenges, from sexual exploitation in the workplace to economic inequality and exclusion. For many young women, finding work is a struggle. They face an unemployment rate of 27%, compared to 9% for young men, with rates of unemployment higher in urban areas. For those that find work in the informal sector, such as bars, restaurants and lodges, the conditions can be exceptionally challenging – pay is often low and unreliable, and they are expected to work long days with no breaks. In addition, as many as one in ten girls in Uganda have been affected by sexual abuse and exploitation, and girls tell us that this is a real issue for them at work. Additionally, girls are pulled out of school, married early, and are more likely to be subjected to violence. Girls also have less opportunity to be educated, are more at risk of gender-based violence, female genital mutilation and face greater risks of economic and sexual exploitation. These challenges and other inhibitive cultural practices continue to negatively affect admission and retention of girls in schools.
“Virtuous Woman”, is a women’s ministry of Christ’s Heart International Ministries. We exist to make a positive difference to the world by helping women achieve their highest achievements as distinct individuals made in the image of God. Our approach is to see lives transformed by helping women & children from diverse walks of life through restoration of life balance, healing of emotional, spiritual and physical wounds, and empowering them with skills to live as independent dignified individuals. The desire is to reach out to the homeless & vulnerable children and provide a place and sense of stability and safety where they can have their lives rehabilitated and nourished to flourish as God intended them to be.
Based on the Christian principles, the process provides girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, many of them orphans, or living in households of extreme poverty the opportunity to acquire quality education, life skills, work readiness exposure and financial support to escape the cycle of poverty and empower the next generation by recipient girls giving back to their societies.
The process envisages to transition of post-secondary school graduates, to College or University Education through to societal launch.
The Girl Child Empowerment and Development Project
(CGED – Project)
The mission of the Girl Child Empowerment and Development project is to create a better environment for vulnerable destitute/needy girls and women improving their lives to access quality education& health in a friendly family environment in order to positively contribute to their communities, nation and the world.
- Provision of tertiary vocational education to young women and girls for economic development.
- Promote spiritual and behavioral transformation of young girls as agents of social change in the community.
- Community outreach based on the Christian evangelistic principles.
This project envisages to target girls and young women between the age of 12 yrs to 20 yrs, Full or partial orphans, living in either child-headed or separated households. This is a critical age between puberty stage and young adult where there is a lot of physical, mental, emotional, and social changes. This is the age of discovery, critical thinking and peer influence. This is the stage where the girls strive for more independence and autonomy and required different aspects of parenting and support.
The proposed project will entail the following holistic interventions
- Vocational training support – This will entail supporting girls from vulnerable and underprivileged families access the vocational programs – tailoring, computer studies, mechanical engineering, cookery classes, soap making, driving hair design and beauty. These vocational courses will expose young girls with the knowledge and skills which can enable them open small enterprises. Project will work closely with institutions offering certified vocational training. Once the girl completes the training, the project intends to offer basic kitting and financial start up money for the girls to start business.
- Social behavioral transformation programs – Girls will undergo a one-year social transformation program which will include Christian counselling, mentorship and career growth and development programs with the aim of promoting healing and restoration of self-value to the girls. Motivational speakers, counsellors within CHMI will offer pro bono time to support this initiative. A curriculum will be developed to offer these. Medical checks will also be organized to the girls from time to time.
- Spiritual transformation programs – Various Christian Ministries within CHMI will be identified in each of the identified regions which will be responsible for the spiritual growth of each of the girls. These girl’s lives will be built on strong Christian values. This will be through semiannual camps. Some of the activities within this program will include semi-annual camps, music, games, introduction of various clubs and societies.
- Community Outreach programs – This project will embed outreach in the identified regions where missionaries will be sent to the various churches to support in evangelism and empower the girls in sharing the love of Jesus Christ. The girls will also be empowered to exercise their various spiritual gifts. Additionally, the CHMI ministry will also make home visits to follow up the performance of the girls at home as well as reaching out these families.
- Legal support and development – the project will work with the legal community to support address some of the legal children and family related cases eg custody, inheritance etc, the legal fraternity will be sourced from CHMI and appealed to offer pro bono services.
This is a multi-stakeholder program which requires the support and contributions of all within the ministry and other funding institutions. We envisage using the following strategies to successfully achieve this project.
Reaching out to the following:
- Foundations (local and international foundations) – with financial resources to fund the vocational training programs.
- Banking and Corporate CSR bodies – financial support.
- Ministry of Education – to offer scholarships opportunities
- Professionals and Volunteers – eg lawyers, counsellors to offer pro bono services to support child cases
- Pastors and Ministry heads CHMI – Offer support in the behavioral and spiritual growth and development of the girls.
Follow up visits to the schools will be conducted on a quarterly basis to families to ensure sustainable change and transformation. The overall performance of the girls will be monitored per every term and semester to ensure progress and support. A monitoring and evaluation system will be put in place to ensure proper documentation of project results.
The project will be Chaired by the Overseer of the Virtuous Woman Ministry at CHMI.
- Financial Contribution
- Vocational & training
equipment and materials
- Any other contribution