If you don't already know us, we are Emerge For Africa's Team - a UK-registered NGO with activities in Uganda (Africa).
Our main objective is to work towards adressing the social and cultural issues that impact girls' education. Our main beneficiaries are young mothers aged 12 to 16 years who have been refused schooling as a result of early pregnancy precipitated by violence against girls (rape, incest).
These girls have little opportunity to re-enter schooling because of becoming a parent at a young age and are frequently marginalised due to societal and cultural stigmas associated with teenage pregnancy and pre-marital sexual relations.
Early pregnancy and violence against girls are significant concerns in Uganda. Not only do these concerns have very serious psychological, physical and socio-economic impacts on those directly affected; but also such practices impact at the family, community and national levels. In particular they increase the morbidity and mortality rates, the HIV/AIDS rates among adolescents and new-borns, the levels of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment, the degree of marginalisation of vulnerable groups; and affect the youth population more widely in multiple ways. All this can have both a negative effect on economic growth and endanger human development, while continuing to foster and sustain the intergenerational incidence of violence within communities.
This campaign is dedicated to a crucial stage of our project called 'Young Mothers' Education & Research Initiative’: Complete the premises that will welcome these young mothers and their babies.
You can visit the Centre's Facebook page to follow our progress on a regular basis at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Young-Mothers-Education-and-Research-Initiative/280203218842229?ref=hl
We have attached some pictures of the progress we are making. These premises are situated close to Kasangati, in the Wakiso District of Uganda (Central Uganda).
For accountability and transparency purposes, here is a breakdown of the costs involved for the ownership and completion of our premises:
- Acquisition of 1/2 of the land in co-ownership (2 acres): 15,000,000 Ugandan Shillings (£3,568)
- Acquisition of 1/3 of the current premises in co-ownership and completion of two buildings including electrical installation: 30,000,000 Ugandan Shillings (3 large classrooms, kitchen and dining area, 4 offices) (£7,137)
- Fence and Gate: 11,000,000 Ugandan shillings (£2,617)
- Machine to make our own bricks from the Faculty of Engineering (Makerere): 4,500,000 Ugandan Shillings (£1,070)
- 4 large solar panel + inverter: 6,000,000 Ugandan Shillings (£1,427)
With a total of £15,819, we will be able to welcome 60 young mothers and their babies every year, and offer them an opportunity of a better and healthier future!
Thank you to two generous sponsors, we have already raised £2700 towards our premises...
Therefore, we only need to raise £13,119 to make it happen before next summer!
Why these premises are of great importance
Our Educational and Research Centre will be set on this beautiful and fertile land, giving us the opportunity to provide young mothers and their (future) babies with a safe and hygienic environment, suitable for their enhanced well-being, learning and development.
This land will also be essential to develop income-generating activities that will provide us with means of being self-sufficient during the three term school year and offer our students a way of learning vital life-skills, relevant professional skills and how to become autonomous, and accountable to their future family.
Why young mothers
Findings and research carried out by experts and ourselves have highlighted that teenage pregnancy is becoming a huge threat to girls, particularly affecting them in areas such as education and health.
In fact, Uganda has the highest rates of teenage pregnancies in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Population Secretariat shows that 1.2 million pregnancies are recorded annually in Uganda; 25 per cent of these are teenage pregnancies. Most of these girls are under 14 and often as young as 10 years old – regrettably, as soon as they reach puberty.
Leading drivers of teenage pregnancy in Uganda are numerous and include cultural practises such as early marriage, as well as early sexual intercourse, little information on sexual maturation and sexual and reproductive health.
However, findings indicate that teenage pregnancy is also largely due to violence against girls in the forms of sexual violence and abuse, rape and incest.
According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, poverty is also another major cause. There is, indeed, a direct link between poverty and early pregnancies: girls from poor families are more likely to get pregnant at a young age due to lower educational levels (i.e. lack of life skills), privation (i.e. transactional sex), family economic burden that oblige them to give their daughter(s) away (i.e. child marriage), and the unsafe environment they may grow up in (i.e. substance and alcohol abuse).
Statistics indicate that rural girls are the most affected.
As a result, the rate of girls dropping out of school is increasing and, unfortunately, despite the National Adolescent Policy stating that pregnant adolescent girls should be readmitted to school once their children are born, this policy is commonly overlooked because of stigmas: schools claim that these girls can set bad examples for the rest of the students.
Therefore, once pregnant, these girls are refused education.
They also face similar stigma from their families. Long-term implications for them as individuals can be very detrimental: alienation, marginalisation and in the worst case scenario, they end up running away from their families or suffering the deadly consequences associated with teenage pregnancy.
We believe and are sure many of you believe also: at this age, these girls should be attaining an education to enhance their future prospects.
But not only that!
We can not ignore the fact that these girls are having children whilst still children themselves - in most cases - with no one to turn to, with no experience as mums, with little or no educational or professional opportunities available to them, and surely, with the sad possibility of suffering from psychological disorders such as depression in the long term or for these young mums or their babies to die as a result of childbirth complications such as post-partum haemorrhage.
We, as the Team of Emerge For Africa, strongly believe that while we can not change the world, we can make a difference, give hope and a vision of a better future for some of these girls and their future babies, and that through Education - resulting in increased empowerment - we can help girls to acquire the necessary knowledge to make informed choices in the future, learn how to be self-sufficient, and support and provide for their children, develop the capabilities they have within themselves, regain their lost self-assurance and control to become strong mums and, perhaps, leaders within their communities, and have a vision of faith for the future, for themselves and subsequently, for their children.
Other ways you can help us
You can visit our Website (www.emergeforafrica.org) or Contact us ([email protected] / +44 7927 625885) for further details about our project, to view photos and videos of our progress and to find out how you can help us succeed.
We thank you for your contribution and remind you that you can make some noise about our campaign by sharing it with your friends, family and colleagues using networking sharing tools!
With our kindest regards,
Emerge For Africa's Team.