Working with Women

Another important element of the work of AVS is our work with women's groups. The women we are supporting are very disadvantaged, rural peasants, often illiterate and usually considered in this dowry based society, to be a source of wealth for their own families and later, the property of their husband. They have little control over their lives. Usually uneducated, their life is arduous and full of drudgery; there is a high incidence of verbal, emotional and physical abuse, with very little opportunity to escape from this trap.
 
AVS has helped initially through agricultural and animal projects. A couple of our groups are selling their maize and beans to the AVS hostel. It is now working to develop small livelihood projects such as soap and peanut butter making and training the women in marketing and business management. The aim being is to enable these groups to function independently. Of equal importance to the financial independence is the emotional support and independence, which the women achieve by belonging to a supportive network.
Maternal health is a big issue in the area and our provision of Mama Bags to encourage pregnant women to attend antenatal classes has had a significant impact.
 
We want to continue funding these groups and as some of them become self sufficient, to be able take on more groups and more projects.


Elgon Pads Project
Working with a volunteer from ARUP (UK) and the Uganda Red Cross our broad vision is to drive sustainable transformation in the lives, This project intends to develop and offer affordable, re-usable sanitary wear to the girls and women of Bulambuli district, to address the following issues:

  • Girls miss 4-7 days or even drop out of their education because they are unable to manage their menstruation at school if their needs for sanitary wear are not able to be met. (UNICEF in 1999). In some cases, female teachers (majority in primary schools) are also absent due to a lack of menstruation facilities at school, affecting pupils’ educational experiences.
  • Women and girls have to manage their menstruation during school, at work and at home using crude substitutes like rugs, leaves, etc leads to physical discomfort and infections. Poor menstrual hygiene situations prevent females engaging fully and lead to low self-esteem.
  • The education level of a mother has been shown to be directly linked to child survival. If girls are missing school because of menstrual hygiene, this could potentially contribute to reduced child survival. (UK Aid Report – Menstruation Hygiene Matters 2012)
  • Affordability, the products sold locally are too expensive for the predominantly rural peasants locally.

We are training local tailors to make the pads and have a Red Cross volunteer working with the communities to raise awareness of the pads and to train the ladies in hygiene and sanitation.

Contact AVS

Phone: +44 (0)7825 650127

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Post: Marie Cates
1 Cockpit Cottages, Cockpit Road
Great Kingshill
Bucks HP15 6ER

African Village Support is registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) with registration number 1164318.

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