I want to see girls who can move with their heads up

I want to see girls who can move with their heads up

Lillian, one of our APPCO staff members, is a skills facilitator and a personate girl child activist. She has facilitated many sessions to mentor girls and young women and share her knowledge on Life skills, SRHR, menstrual hygiene and human rights.

When schools in Uganda closed for a period of 21 months during COVID-19, many girls had to be home, leaving them vulnerable to gender-based violence and teenage pregnancy, among other deteriorating effects of COVID 19. To avoid leaving the girls in the Mukono district behind, APPCO implements the Action for Girls Empowerment Project (AGE) since 2021.

Lillian participated in training the girls with various skills which included Soap and shampoo Making, tailoring, baking, hairdressing, and producing bags. These trainings are aimed at building their capacities in relevant skills which can serve as a source of revenue during these challenging times.

“I want to see a girl child well established, confident with high esteem who can move with her head up”

is Lillian’s motivation to inspire the girls.

Many of the girls had dropped out of school, were young mothers, early married or living with a disability. Therefore, Lillian’s soft skills sessions on social skills, interpersonal skills, and a positive attitude were also instrumental in raising their self-esteem and overcoming stigma and trauma. Lilian expressed that “It gives me great joy when these girls and some of their parents get to call me for advice every now and then”.

“The majority of the girls have grown more self-assured, are now mentors in their communities, talk and express themselves freely in public, they also freely share their experiences with their peers.” –

Lillian

When schools reopened, Lillian got involved in the initiative of starting school clubs for the young students in various schools around Mukono district with the health club, human rights clubs, and many others created. In these clubs, topics such as sexual and reproductive health, menstrual hygiene, gender-based violence and others are debated.

Funded by the Children’s Rights and Violence Prevention Fund (CRVPF), the AGE intervention promotes self-confidence and empowerment of female youth by building capacities in health, life skills and income generation.

Supporting Parents With Agricultural Inputs Within The ECD Communities

Supporting Parents With Agricultural Inputs Within The ECD Communities

To promote positive livelihood and nutrition for children and communities hosting the ECD program in the Lamwo district, APPCO introduced an initiative to supply parents with agricultural inputs. This was meant to enhance the feeding program within the ECD schools.

SCHOOL FEEDING:

The school feeding program is one of the programs that had not ever existed in some of the ECD centres at the time that APPCO started implementing the project which was identified during the re-assessment of schools for the re-opening.

However, through parent participation in meetings and community discussions, a strategy for supporting the school food program was developed. Parents were asked to contribute to the campaign through an action plan. Some of the supplies donated by the parents included maize flour and sugar for porridge. This made it easy to kick start the feeding program. Because the parents championed the effort and demonstrated a willingness to support the program, APPCO provided support to them, including agriculture inputs and technical experience, to address the feeding program as well as to improve the family’s economic condition.

SEED DISTRIBUTION

As the farming season began, parents were overjoyed when they receives the seeds. The seeds were delivered to parent support groups in the communities to help them increase their income-generating capacity at the family level while simultaneously providing a long-term solution to the ECD centre feeding problem.

“Now that APPCO has supported us with seeds, we assure you that in the coming terms, our children will be having porridge and lunch at school as it will also help us to concentrate in the gardens as it was previously hard because we could leave gardens early to go and prepare food for our children.” One parent stated during seed distribution in Aoi ECD centre. Over 500 homes have benefited from the agricultural seeds support, which included introducing parents to new ways of smart agriculture, such as the use of nursery beds and kitchen gardens to increase the productivity of their produce.

Supporting The ECD Centers With Building Materials

Supporting The ECD Centers With Building Materials

APPCO’s community-building strategy is critical in advancing the idea of self-sufficient and sustainable community-based initiatives. The initiative was a follow-up to fill the gap within the ECD host schools that didn’t have facilities for the ECD program (These facilities included classroom blocks, toilet structures and a feeding program).

APPCO organized the parents and other community members to embark on the construction work. The parents availed their resources as part of their contribution to kick start the work. this intervention has encouraged the community to construct a permanent structure as they have realized the benefits of the ECD program. This is witnessed by a high number of turn-ups at the Centers. The community is eager and willing to participate in the construction project for more blocks to support the program ECD (Early Childhood Development).

 

DISTRIBUTION OF THE CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS

During the distribution event, APPCO invited parents, community leaders and the district officials to witness and representatives from all invited stakeholders were welcoming the initiative as they made positive remarks about the program.

We like the strategy of first seeing what we can be able to do using our locally available resources with full support through continuous encouragements, monitoring, mentorship among others to make us self-reliant, sustaining and above all, owning our community initiatives.” One parent commented during the event that was organized to distribute building materials to the ECD centre that were under contraction.

The chairperson centre management committee (CMC) outlined all the activities APPCO has implemented at the ECD centre which included needs assessment of the ECD centre, constituting parents’ households into parent’s support groups, training of parents’ support groups on good agronomic practices, agricultural input distribution, building materials distribution among others. “Trust us even if we are told that the APPCO project is ending, we shall continue with the activities and the knowledge we have gained from APPCO for the sustainability of what we have started implementing. I am very proud to say from today, our ECD centre has classroom blocks under construction nearing completion, and we shall still as parents now start planning to construct more blocks for the primary section. ‘’ one of the parents said during the delivery of building materials.

By the launch of this event;

  1. The Community constructed permanent structures in the various centre that are needed by the ECD facility.
  2. The play up sessions are being conducted using the play up model guide for the ECD Facilitators and the play up model chart
  3. Children are feeding at school
  4. ECD centers has a permanent structure for the toilet
  5. Parents of the enrolled ECD children have formed groups and are receiving livelihood training and monitoring which will improve their yields and this will support the school feeding programme as well as household feeding and income.
  6. Psychosocial support sessions conducted with children and some parents

 ‘’it is one thing for an organization to implement a project in a specific community and another thing altogether for the community to realize the project impact, but we have already seen and felt the impact of APPCO’s different interventions in our community’’