Girls worldwide are less likely to complete their education than boys. Girls are more likely to earn less, have poor health, and live in poverty. Girls are often overlooked and are often less empowered to fulfill their potential. Growing up without education hinders girls’ future life choices and their ability to break the cycle of poverty, and means that they are more exposed to risky situations and people who exploit their vulnerability.
Uganda has one of the youngest and fastest growing populations in Africa with 54% of the population under 18. The youth unemployment rate in Kampala is thrice the national average. Uganda has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in the world with 1 in 4 teenage girls becoming pregnant before they are 19. Nearly 1 in 2 girls in Uganda are married before the age of 18, and approximately 2.4 million are engaged in child labour. Lack of skills, opportunities, empowerment and self-esteem often makes young women feel that they have no choice but to engage in early child marriage, gang violence, prostitution or other risky behaviour. Girls and young women in Kampala’s slums are particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse, gender-based violence, teenage pregnancy, early or forced marriage and HIV infection.
Investing in adolescent girls is crucial for alleviating poverty, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and addressing other factors that put girls at risk. We aim to empower teenage girls and create safer communities for young women from Uganda’s slums through providing safe spaces, counselling and guidance, peer support and community outreach and education.
We run Girls Support Groups that focus on discussing issues such as early and forced marriage, teenage pregnancy, health and sex education, menstrual hygiene and personal security alongside many other issues that girls bring up in the groups. These groups provide these girls with a safe space to discuss ideas, ask difficult questions and receive emotional support, advice and practical help. We also offer individual counselling for girls who have been abused, neglected or need support in any way, and we support their basic needs by supplying them with much needed donations of sanitary pads and school materials. We reach roughly 500 vulnerable girls a year through this vital project.
There is still a long way to go and we need your help. Could you partner with us to bring dignity, confidence and self-esteem to these girls? Please sign up to become a Girls Champion today. Or you can make a one-off gift to support this vital project. Together we can give these girls a better future.
We believe that entire communities need to be supported and encouraged to support girls in order to create a more equal society. It’s not easy to be a teenager whether male or female and being a teenager growing up in the slums of Kampala brings with it even more challenges. This is why we also work with teenage boys as well as girls.
Our Football Project for teenage boys gives them a safe space to belong and support each other whilst being mentored both on and off the pitch. Young boys, especially those who do not go to school, have very few options for engaging in positive activities. Our Football Project provides them with a safe space to go and a chance to improve their self-esteem, skills, teamwork and discipline, giving them a hope for the future. This project gives teenagers in Kampala’s slums something fun to do and somewhere safe to go where they keep out of danger and trouble, along with building their confidence and self-worth. They also have a chance to learn vital skills in teamwork and discipline, and gain a sense of community, as they are encouraged in their talents and know that they have someone who believes in them and their dreams. Football is great at uniting people from different backgrounds and walks of life. It is also a great way of reaching people and engaging with teenagers who maybe wouldn’t want to come along to our Saturday Kids Clubs or engage with other projects.
We also provide counselling for boys who have been abused, neglected or need support in any way. We recognise the importance of providing specific spaces for girls and boys separately to support each other in their peer groups and we give boys a safe space to discuss ideas, ask difficult questions, and receive emotional support, advice and practical help.
To donate to our Football Project to support vulnerable young boys in Kampala’s slums, please click here. If you are interested in donating any football kits, boots or balls to support this project, please get in touch with us.