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Ugandan partner empowers women with new skills and educates community

Community members participate in a workshop about gender-based violence prevention with PWRDF partner Rape Hurts Foundation. The face masks were sewn as part of a skills development program.

March 2, 2021

By Janice Biehn

A presenter at a RHF workshop.

In 2020, PWRDF started a partnership with Rape Hurts Foundation in Uganda. Despite the pandemic – as well as recent political turmoil – RHF has been pushing ahead on this important work to hold workshops and training sessions to prevent gender-based violence and more.

Irene Atim, 28, has been working at RHF since 2015 and is currently a trainer and Case Manager. She is experienced and passionate about the needs of girls and women. “Addressing the problems faced by women is important as a contribution towards the overall UN Sustainable Development Goals,” says Atim.

Irene Atim, a RHF trainer

Atim has “given her all” to the PWRDF-supported project called Reviving Lives and Livelihoods of Women and Youth in Busoga Region in Eastern Uganda,despite the hard times we have been through, writes RHF founder Hellen Lunkuse Tanyinga.

RHF programs confront the many socio-economic-cultural problems that women face with the intention of improving their wellbeing, but also the wellbeing of people under their care, especially children. Unless socio-cultural problems such as sexual and gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, human trafficking and modern day slavery are addressed, women’s empowerment shall remain elusive, says Tanyinga. Atim has upheld this guiding statement and hasn’t wavered from her commitment to it. As one of the trainers, she has reached out to hundreds of women and girls in the last three years.

The RHF team has imparted entrepreneurial skills to women and girls. At the RHF Vocational and Skills Centre in Kamuli, women are learning how to tailor, knit and sew. One of their first projects were face masks, complete with the PWRDF logo! They have kept some face masks for the trainers and participants, but have also sold some at the local market to bring in extra income for RHF.

“These skills not only help them improve their household incomes but also gain financial independence, so that they can live independent of their would-be abusers,” says Tanyinga.

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For media requests please contact Communications Coordinator Janice Biehn at (416) 924-9199;366.

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