Faith, Joan and Melda are three young leaders taking part in the Girls as Drivers of Change programme, which brings 22 WAGGGS young leaders and 22 of Save The Children’s young facilitators together to learn about ways to tackle gender based violence.
Many of these young leaders have experienced violence in their own lives or in their communities, and will now run local advocacy campaigns to share the information they have learned and encourage others to take action.
Violence against girls and women is one of the most widespread violations of human rights around the world.
Joan is a volunteer with the Uganda Girls Guides Association. She has been involved with Guiding for over five years.
“Lots of women living in my community have experienced domestic violence. I was keen to learn more about it – the causes and the consequences, and what we can do to reduce it in our community.
I learned how to ask the right questions to girls and young women who have been affected. You don’t ask direct questions. You ask about whether violence is a problem in their community.”
Melda is a lead facilitator for Save the Children in Karamoja, north-eastern Uganda. She works with Girls’ Clubs in four local schools.
For Melda, the message from this week is clear. “Ladies have the same power as men. Leadership is so important. Maybe one day our country will be led by a woman.”
Faith is a Guiding Unit leader in Mbale, and a secondary school English teacher. She plans to take what she has learnt to all children at the school, including boys.
“This project will open people’s eyes. They will get knowledge, and understand about gender based violence and the methods we can use to address this problem. It will also ensure that those who have been affected can get help and support.”