Children against Gender Based Violence in Kalangala District

Sam Labu, the Youth and Community Engagement Officer-Kalangala engaging young people during the rollout of program Y in 15 communities

In the month of September and October 2021, Heroes for Gender transformative Action program mobilized young people between the ages of 9 to 14 and from 15 to 24   to training them on issues related to SRHR, SGBV, and their rights to protection in case they are in any form of situation that would lead to SGBV. The program uses curriculum-based approaches to deliver age appropriate information to young people that is Journeys plus curriculum which is a community curriculum targeting children 9-14 years and Program Y curriculum that targets young people in and out of school aged 15-24 years.

Heroes for Gender Transformative action staff Sam Labu works closely with community youth counselors, Youth Heroes,  schoolteachers, religious leaders and the Community Development Officers who are the resource persons during the trainings.

Sam Labu, the Youth and Community Engagement Officer-Kalangala engaging young people during the rollout of program Y in 15 communities

The trainings entails various  components like  preparations  and check lists, local adaptations, energizers, recaps, pre posttest and training evaluation, child protection and safe guarding , signs and impact of GBV, responding  to GBv, children and youth on the move stories , power walks and other elements.

In one of the trainings using Journeys Plus Community Curriculum which focuses on building the five Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies of self-awareness, self-management, relationship building and responsible decision making, one Emmanuel Ndaula aged 11 years male in Mweena village stood up and shared his experience with his estranged family.  He said his father is a fisher man and he stays on the lake for many days when he gets home after selling his fish is has a lot of money so he goes to bars and spends it all he then comes home and fights with his mother because his mother is concerned about how he is not taking care of his children. 

This has forced Emmanuel to join other children who do casual work on the shores of Lake Victoria, collecting and drying sliver fish to support their mother take care of him and his siblings.  He is happy that this program is giving him tips on how to address SGBV early so that he does not end up  doing the same mistake like his parents, However  he is now learning the importance of respecting people especially women and girls.

Heroes for Gender transformative action is designed to address key sexual reproductive health and rights barriers in 9 high burden districts in Uganda. It is implemented in a consortium of four organisations namely; Amref Health Africa in Uganda, Cordaid Uganda, Mifumi and International Research Center for Women. This consortium is formed on the basis of the comparative advantage of each of the partners however working together to promote synergies. The Heroes for gender transformative action use key strategic approaches which include; Gender transformation Approaches, Health system strengthening, Ecological model, human life cycle development and meaningful involvement of beneficiaries. These approaches the program will create vibrant networks of informed communities that work together with empowered health care providers to strengthen the health system and the community level models. The program will empower young girls, boys and women to make informed decisions on SRHR and be empowered to say no to sexual gender-based violence which remains one of the sever forms of gender inequality that affects health outcomes.