Very often, girls face challenges on their way from home to school and vice-versa. Some of these include: bullying, harassment, sexual violence, stalking, among others. As a preventive measure, Girl Child Network in partnership with Wells of Hope conducted sessions with the girls about how best to advocate for safer routes for as well as lobby for their protection and security. The sessions were conducted on 14th and 21st at Wells of Hope Junior School and Wells of Hope High School respectively.
Christine Adero, Programs Officer from Girl Child Network conducted the sessions; she held a survey with the girls where they were able to answer some questions presented to them and they shared their experiences on their journeys to and from school especially those in day school, and those that have been in boarding school before.
In partnership with Ms Susan Burton, founder of A New Way of Life USA, Wells of Hope Ministries has opened a Wells of Hope Safe Home, a home for formerly incarcerated women.
The home provides temporary shelter to women that are being released from incarceration but cannot immediately return to their communities for various reasons among which include fear of stigma, family breakages, or loss of contact with family members due to the long period in incarceration among others.
The home which is located
in one of the city suburbs is fully furnished, offering accommodation, meals, and
all necessities that a woman would need to live harmoniously in a comfortable
environment to heal from the trauma caused by the four prison
While at the home, the women are engaged in activities that help to reinstate their mental and psychological health through counseling and to take on a skill that is meant to help them get back on their feet and support themselves in the long run. Those that already have one known skill are helped to develop it and make it profitable while others are helped to take on one, not forgetting the continuous spiritual devotion that is meant to restore their faith and hope in life.
What an honor it was to have our very own Girl Child Network Club at Wells of Hope High School among the participants of the Global Mentoring Walk 2019 which was held at the Human Rights Offices on 9th March 2019; and this was in commemoration of the International Women’s Day. The Event was graced by dignitaries who encouraged the children not to give up on their dreams: Hon Dr Miria Matembe, an Advocate for women’s rights and former Minister for Ethics and Integrity encouraged the children to have a vision; “You don’t have an excuse if you have a vision. God created you for a purpose, which is that vision. You should have a passion to accomplish that vision,” she said.
Kimberly Harrington, Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs, US Embassy Kampala encouraged the children to focus on their goals.
During the event, the girls from the various schools were engaged in mentoring groups where they interacted with dignitaries from various sectors.
Memory Bandera, Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk, flag bearer encouraged the girls to always read and never stop learning. She encouraged them to seek help when a need arises and to surround themselves with supportive people.
Brian Tumusiime, a member on the Board of Directors of Girl Child Network encouraged the girls to begin shaping their story;“Channel your energy to a place where your passion lies. Build your personal story and make sure you’re heard,” he said
We thank Girl Child Network, DefendDefenders and Vital Voices for giving the children with incarcerated parents (at Wells of Hope), a platform to share their plight.
The scouts club at Wells of Hope Junior School has resumed in style; on 2nd March, 50 pupils were taught the Scout promise, Scout law, Fundamental pillars, and Scout games and Prayer. The sessions were conducted by Julius Ssebandeke from Uganda Scouts Association. This helped the pupils to know that scouts ought to live exemplary lives and to be good citizens.
On Thursday 28th/Feb./2019, 5 children at Wells of Hope who were born in prison had an opportunity to visit their mothers at Luzira women prison. Such an opportunity has helped to bridge that big gap between these young ones and their mothers. On hearing the good news that they would always visit their parents more times (5) in a year than before, this made the children feel so happy, excited and loved. They couldn’t hold their joy as they surely expressed it on their faces which were full of smiles.
The day was a success because our goal was attained, the children met their mothers, they were all happy to see each other, and the mothers were as thankful and happy as expressed in the endless hugs and loud laughter between the parents and their children. The mothers had fully prepared for their children’s visit as they had cooked them good food and prepared some snacks for them to carry to school ranging from pastries, crisps and other eatables. The children and the mothers had ample time interacting with one another.
The mothers conveyed their warm regards and gratitude to Wells of Hope Ministries for always being there for them in their absence; Linda (not real name), one of the mothers had this to say, “I do not know the right words to use to thank Pastor Ssuubi (Francis Ssuubi) for his continued love and support towards us and our children. May God bless him abundantly!” She also added by thanking Wells of Hope Ministries for standing in for and with her during hard times especially when she lost her husband who died in prison. All the mothers were appreciative and grateful for the way the organisation cares for their children.