Civil Society organisations through their umbrella body, The Network of Active Citizens (NAC) with support from British Council have embarked on creating community social action programs that will enable girls stay in school.
The programme has since 2019 supported 10 organisations working in slum communities in Kampala with the capacity to use the programme tools and soft approaches to facilitate community led development.
The core themes have been around building resilience, improving livelihoods, climate change initiatives and education.
The 2020/21 phase focused on supporting basic education initiatives to contribute to resolving the challenges that affected the sector as a result of the pandemic.
The objective of this phase was to strengthen grassroot institutions and communities’ capacity to build a resilient society in disadvantaged communities in Kampala through improving access to educational opportunities for young people especially girls, in slum areas.
During the engagement, all member organisations presented their social action plans and how they hope to implement them towards the right beneficiaries within their respective communities.
Girl-up initiative, a women led organisation came up with an initiative of teaching young adolescent girls how to make reusable sanitary towels as one of the measures to keep girls in school.
Ikel Phionah, programs manager at girl up initiative says they teach girls practically to make their own reusable pads in the communities using the free sewing machines and material provided by the organisation.
She also notes that they have developed programs that will cater for the wellbeing of girls in school for instance adolescent girls programme, big sisters network as well as the boy champion programme aimed at mentoring boys to appreciate the issues girls go through so they can help the girl-child thrive and live.
Most Active Citizens organisations have developed programs in communities that will enhance a community led social development approach to influence pro-development programs and policies, build capacities of citizens in the communities for positive transformation among vulnerable communities and social enterprise development as a sustainability strategy for socio economic well-being of poor and marginalized women and youth.
Peace Mukayisire, youth officer in Kampala Capital City Authority Makindye Division says government is mandated to deliver these social services yet they still fall short of funding.
“Government has the mandated to ensure provision of these social services to the communities but due to limited funding, we end up not reaching out to all the other needs that the communities have but through the civil society organizations we are able to reach out to them.” Mukayisire said.
She however reminded the civil society organisations working to promote/uplift girl-child and youth affairs that they need to continuously engage kcca to make sure that there is continuity of their work
“We have already got organised structures (youth, women, health, women council) which can be tapped into to help for the sustainability of their activities and to continuously desist from thinking for the communities but engage with them and have solutions for themselves, that will create more impact and is more sustainable.” Mukayisire noted.