UK: WAIT & Girl Child Project in Uganda
by Tanya Fisher, IRFF UK
WAIT Uganda reaches out to schools and communities where the team uses the medium of Performing Arts and talks, to teach pupils the danger of HIV/AIDS and the value of abstinence in order to stay safe and healthy. Currently, there are 10 functioning WAIT clubs around Kampala and 15 in the Masaka area. This outreach is restricted as only £60 per month is provided by IRFF UK to cover the cost of travel, food and materials for the volunteers. If this were doubled, WAIT Uganda could do much more in saving young peoples’ lives by fulfilling their goals of engaging youth and raising up role models and youth leaders with principled education, and organising proper WAIT training!
Here are some responses to the work WAIT Uganda is doing:
“My name is Joseph. I am so thankful to WAIT-Uganda for all their efforts of educating me about living an abstinent lifestyle. I lacked guidance from my parents before they died. I now appeal to all parents out there who find it hard to talk to their kids regarding sex and other related health issues: ‘Here’s an approach which you can be comfortable with in order for you to discuss this matter with your kids. They give you useful tips on what are important – WAIT is the only safe solution’”.
“With abstinence, no barriers or pills are necessary because the person is not being sexually intimate with others. You don’t have to be a virgin to practice abstinence… Even someone who has been having sex can still choose abstinence to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in the future. I am now free; the past is gone and a new life has begun. Thank you WAIT–Uganda.” Agnes, Head Prefect, Equator Secondary School
“Ten years ago before WAIT came to Uganda, abstinence was almost something you couldn’t mention; now the culture is embracing it! I never get tired of encouraging the young people. WAIT can provide a basic protection against certain infections, like HIV/AIDS or gonorrhoea, herpes and teenage pregnancy.” Ronnie, Taso Counsellor and WAIT Alumni
The Girl-Child Project works alongside WAIT Uganda to visit schools and communities to support girls and young women with basic hygiene and understanding of their menstrual cycles. The volunteers also offer counselling, emotional support, reusable sanitary pads, and if funds are available, school materials too. As with WAIT Uganda, if the £60 per month budget was doubled, more girls could be supported and prevented from missing their valuable school education!
The Girl Child Project has made a big difference in peoples’ lives:
I now live a healthy, happy life. My name is Ruth from Senior 2 Class. I first had my period when I was looking after cattle back in the village. I didn’t know what was happening until after attending one of the workshops “managing menstruation and living pure life”, organized by the Girl Child Project and WAIT Uganda. I now live a healthy, happy life, the underwear and re-usable pads are of great help. Thank You! – Ruth
“Many girls and women in poverty are forced to take a wrong decision! They are so desperate that the only way for them to get money for buying pads is by selling their body which comes with severe consequences, for example unprepared teenage pregnancy and HIV positive status. The behaviour and lives of our students have changed. We are well-disciplined, healthy and are achieving good academic performances as taught us by the Girl Child volunteers. Thank you for your good work and services towards our African girls and children.” Hadijah, female health student at Ndejje University
We have started a JustGiving page to raise funds for WAIT and the Girl Child Project in Uganda! More information can be found at: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/waitgirlchild.
This article is repeated, and a donate button is available, on the JustGiving page. Please give what you can and do encourage your friends and family to do the same. Ugandan young people are the future of their country; supporting them now will give them a better opportunity to lead a healthier and safer life for themselves and their communities.
If you wish to know more about the work of IRFF UK, please visit the website on www.irff-uk.org.