It is said that if you want something to be seen all over the world, then Facebook is the very best place to start!

And I couldn’t agree more.

That is because in August of this year, 2020…something really dope happened.

In one of the blogging groups that I am in, on Facebook, we do read one another’s blogs

And leave comments on each blog post that we read.

So, this one day, Nkem Chuk gets in touch with me, on a particular blog post of mine that I published

And she was pouring all these praises on me…about the good work that I am doing there

It felt so good to hear this….

Those were very tough months of the year….

And then, the conversation was carried on, to the DM

Where she asked me to get in touch with a particular young lady here in Uganda and see how we can collaborate with one another

I said, “cool”. Let’s do this.

Nkem gets in touch with Marion….she happens to be the person that I am going to get in touch with

They do their part…I am guessing Nkem shared with Marion and her team about me and what I do, in that particular sphere of the world.

Monday came and I received an email from Marion, that I would love to share with you here…

“Hello, goodbye afternoon. My name is Marion Apio, the founder of a rising NGO, Girls Alive Uganda.

We are three young people, and 40 volunteers aiming at skilling, educating, mentoring and empowering the girl child on how to make a reusable pad and menstrual hygiene management.

Nkem, is our Guide and mentor, she shared your contact with us and we would like to engage and connect.

Kindly let us know how best to connect with you, and if you are to help us write about our social venture and community approach, we shall be very grateful.

 

We are running a campaign #1000padcampaign.

It’s our response to Covid-19 where we are raising 1000 pads to distribute to 500 girls in rural communities in Uganda.

We launched the campaign and reached out to 125 girls with 250 pads.

Thank you once again for what you do.
We appreciate and looking forward to working and connecting with you.
Regards, Marion Apio.
CEO, Girls Alive Uganda”.

Wwoooaaahhhh….I melted, right there!

I remembered so many things from my past but most vividly, the time I spent closely working in the nonprofit world

I still do believe those were the very best years of my life

I could literally see myself in the position Marion is in, alongside her team at Girls Alive Uganda.

 

To give you some background,

Girls Alive Uganda is a registered non-government entity founded by Marion Apio, Susan Mutoni and Susan Hilda Lokolimoe, who are MasterCard Foundation Scholars at Makerere University, passionate about social transformation in Uganda. They are an operational NGO that plan and carry out boots-on-the-ground projects to accomplish our objectives. This requires a great deal of careful planning, communication, and local involvement for each project.

It is currently operating in Kisoko High School, Tororo district but hopes to reach out to more girls in several regions across Uganda. As a team, they are looking forward to creating a circle of socially responsible girls who through mentorship and follow up shall become ambassadors spearheading change in their communities, as we enhance creativity so as to increase gender equity in Uganda and Africa at large. In its scope of work, it makes, trains and mentors’ young girls in and out of school with knowledge of making reusable sanitary towels using locally available materials that can easily be accessed.

Our goal, as Girls Alive Uganda, is to accomplish the following:

  • To restore women and girl’s dignity through provision of hygienic and cost effective reusable sanitary pads.
  • To be the center of training and research so as to empower the vulnerable girls in Uganda.
  • To educate the vulnerable girls on menstrual hygiene and management.
  • Girl child education regardless of their economic background.

That is some serious work these young people are doing!!!

In these times of the COVID19 pandemic, they would have probably been cooped up somewhere, living and surviving through to see tomorrow, with nothing else to think about

But no, they were here doing the actual great work that the government is supposed to have done….

This group of young people has 3 objectives to cover in this time that the COVID19 pandemic has hit us first;

  1. To distribute 1000 reusable sanitary towels and hygienic buckets to girls in rural communities in Uganda.
  2. To sensitize 500 young girls on how to keep clean and maintain menstrual hygiene while at home.
  3. To raise 50% awareness on teenage pregnancy during and post COVID-19.

Obviously, this kind of insight into the future comes with a lot of planning before and after…just like the simple budget that was shared with me.

Item Quantity Amount (Uganda shs) Total (Uganda shs)
Pads 1,000 7,000 per pack 7,000,000
Hygienic buckets and soap 500 5,000 2,500,000
TOTAL     9,500,000

Now, that pricing-list could have changed from the time it was shared with me, I don’t know

I will share the telephone number where you can ask any question pertaining to this cause or even donate, yeah?

Feel free to dial up +256 750 595811

 

Why is this cause so important, you ask?

Well, the answer lies in the sad reality that over 1.5 million young people are out of school in Uganda due to COVID-19! And that is the number we may be able to track….ask yourself how many of those we don’t know about exist out there, living in the very worst of conditions.

According to UNICEF (2019), 82% of Ugandans do not have access to improved sanitation facilities, three out of ten Ugandan households do not have a latrine, and two thirds of households across the country do not wash their hands with soap. With only 8% of mothers of children under the age of five having soap and water readily available, these families face barriers in following the hygiene guidelines recommended by the Ministry of Health during the pandemic.

And yet, this is a time where we all need to wash our hands with clean water and soap, isn’t it?

I want you to take a moment to think about that number….and the number of lives that are caught in there…

Furthermore, our communities are more vulnerable to the economic effects of the pandemic as they are more at risk of losing their regular income and their ability to provide basic needs for their families due to the physical distancing measures implemented by the government. More than 21% of Ugandans currently live in poverty (UBOS, 2018), with higher numbers in urban slum areas, meaning that there is less economic resilience in the face of a crisis, like this one or any other!

It is quite a lot to think about

With the potential of taking something away from your pockets to the betterment of a life or two, down here in Uganda.

Oh, by the way, please feel free to click this and we all cant wait to receive your assistance. It is not late to drop in whatever you can drop in.

For now, we keep fighting to see tomorrow

As we #StaySafe!