How one woman empowers others in Uganda

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I get to meet some amazing women on this travel to do good journey.  While I have not met Joseline in person, I feel compelled to share her story.  I met her through voluntourism colleague and friend Jan Van Der Meer, who is currently on photo assignment in Uganda.  Joseline’s story is pretty amazing to say the least.  Women like her give me courage and strength.

How it all started

The Women for Rights and Democracy in Uganda (WORIDU) is a community based organization in the Kabale District South Western Uganda.  In 2010 the organization was founded by Joseline Korugyendo.  Affectionately known as Aunt Joseline, she focuses on the challenges faced by the most vulnerable people in community, the women and children.  Joseline’s life was not easy.   Raised by her mother who was a widow, Joseline also lost all of her siblings to HIV/AIDS.   She has lived and witnessed the intolerable challenges women and children faced, especially widows, malnourished children, HIV/AIDS orphans, underprivileged children, victims of domestic violence, destitute street children and the elderly in the community.  

561722_432621766773528_2003381547_nIn lifting up her own personal experiences for a higher cause, Joseline believed that in starting a women and children’s organization that would be entirely run by women, she would help to empower other women by having their voices heard.  This makes the organization very unique and one, of its kind as something like this had never been heard of in the region.

 

 

 

More Work to do …..

Now that the organization had been established, Joseline knew that there was still more work to do.  Over the last 2 years, WORIDU has been instrumental in starting the FUTURE GENERATION NURSERY AND PRIMARY SCHOOL which focuses on the educational needs of orphans, street children, and other underprivileged children who would never have the opportunity to attend school.  


P1050176The school is currently housed in a rented space with wooden temporary structures as classrooms.  Their Mission is to “Provide Children with Support, Quality Education and Life Skills that will help them to escape bonds of poverty and successfully become Self-Reliant Responsible Pillars of Tomorrow’s Uganda.

 

 

 


Unfortunately in this culture some parents are reluctant to send their girls to school. This is mostly evident in poor rural households and those with large families which require a girl’s labor for food production and care for the siblings. In general school aged children of school going age are not in school because the parents simply cannot afford to pay.  For those who get the opportunity to attend school, the school becomes a place that provides children with a great opportunity to learn about themselves and the world they live in.   It also serves as a sanctuary for young people who choose education over a life of hardship and imposed burdens.

These brave young boys and girls are cared for by Joseline Korugyendo, who has become a leader and activist for women and children in her community of Kabale South Western Uganda. She and her committed staff envision a brighter future for the women and children they service.

While the school has made great strides in bettering the lives of dozens of orphans, additional support is still needed to keep these children in school and headed in a promising direction. Many of the families of these children cannot afford to send them to school, and when this happens often times, they arrange for these kids to marry early or start working manual labor before they even mature as adults.

Together we can make a difference is the school motto as their goal is to find more individuals and groups who are committed to empowering others and who are willing to sponsor a child’s education.  The organization as well as the school makes a concerted effort to assist these children to gain access to equal education and learn income generating skills.

 

How can you help

We invite you to make a difference by sponsoring a child or by donating one of the items from their wish list.  The good news about our travel to do good program is that our programs are a form of participatory travel that enables you to connect with the receiving non-profit organization  in a more personal way.  When you connect with one of our program partners, you have the opportunity to travel, learn, give and grow by visiting the region where your project partner is located.  

Organization Wish List

  • A permanent structure for the school
  • Desks, School Supplies, Books
  • Individuals and groups to lead vocational/skill development programs
  • Solar panels to meet their energy needs
  • Wells for clean water

If you are interested in traveling to do good or learning more about this organization please contact me, roslyn@traveltodogood.com  Remember all donations are made to verifiable US Based non profit organizations.

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