PROMOTING GIRL CHILD EDUCATION AS A PRE-CURSOR FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) Uganda Chapter is one of the 34 National chapters of Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) a pan African Non-governmental Organization (NGO) operating in 33 countries across Africa. The mother Organization – FAWE Regional secretariat (FAWE RS) was started in 1992 by five African Women Ministers of Education. FAWE Uganda Chapter was established in 1997, and this year 2019 we are celebrating “22 years of Enhancing Girls and Women’s Education for Development.” Our vision is, “A Uganda in which all girls and women effectively participate in sustainable development.” Mission “To enhance gender equity, equality and inclusion in education by influencing policies, nurturing attitudes and practices, and implementing interventions that positively influence girls’ education.” These contribute to the FAWE Africa’s mission of “Ensuring that considerable attention is paid to gender imbalances in Education and that steps are taken to enable more girls access quality Education, complete their studies and perform well at all levels.
Our target audience include vulnerable women, girls, boys, disabled and other socially marginalized groups in the community. The operation of FAWE Uganda is guided by the overall Goal of “Girls across Uganda being able to access quality education.” This is supported by the strategic objectives of; improving the level of gender responsiveness in Education Sector policies for girls and women, enhancing adoption and integration of positive gender pedagogy practices at school level; increasing access, retention and completion rates for girls in school and all levels of education, and strengthening institutional capacity for efficient and effective service delivery. Our interventions revolve around Education (Secondary, Tertiary and Higher Education Scholarships); Child Protection, Science and Innovation, Service delivery for child mothers, Mentorship and Gender Responsive Pedagogy, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Combating Gender Based Violence, Skills Development and Livelihoods, Economic Empowerment for Vulnerable Groups and, Research and Advocacy.
In a bid to actualize the Sustainable Development Goal 4, “Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” FAWE Uganda implements it’s programs at national level including; the Higher Education Access Program, the Resilient Learners, Teachers and Education Systems Project in both South Sudan and Uganda, Promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in Secondary Schools – Promoting Gender Responsive Schools, Prevention of Violence against Children in and Around Schools (VACIS), Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (ASRHR) and Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
The Organization has registered numerous milestones and as we commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day, under the theme “Empowering Women through Innovative Approaches to Social Protection; a Pre-requisite for Inclusive and Sustainable Development” we would like to share with the public some of the achievements realized in the last 22 years of our existence;
- Provided scholarships to over 6,000 young people and vulnerable girls at secondary, tertiary and University level
- Empowered over 40,000 young people – boys and girls, school administrators, teachers, parents and community members on importance of Education
- Conducted various Research Studies for and with the Ministry of Education and Sports and partners including UNICEF, International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW), Mac Arthur Foundation and University of Maryland. The studies informed policy formulation and capacity building for various stakeholders on girls and women’s rights. They include the linkage between teenage pregnancy and School dropout, retention and re-entry policy for child mothers, Violence against Children in and around school, and understanding Social Norms to prevent and respond to Violence against Children.
- Policy influencing through advocating for formulation and passing of policies focused on improving Education for women and girls such as the Gender in Education Policy, guidelines on the School Re-entry Policy-enabling child mothers have a second chance in education, sexuality education framework and ordinances on Ending Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy in various districts.
- Developed and implemented innovative approaches focused on addressing violence against marginalized groups, gender dynamics and social norms in communities – the Gender Responsive Pedagogy, TUSEME (‘Let us speak’) model and the Extended Orientation Program as a mechanism for supporting scholars to enroll, compete and complete higher education.
- Strengthened capacity of 80 secondary schools in Uganda to improve girl’s interest, participation and performance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects through adopting Gender Responsive approaches in the learning and teaching process.
- Promoted a safe learning environment for children in schools and communities through building capacity of local government structures; the Uganda police force, local councils, health Centre staff, youth groups, community structures, school administrators, teachers and children on child protection and Gender Based Violence prevention; violence against children and its dangers; monitoring, reporting, tracking and referral of cases.
- Livelihood and skills development for 144 vulnerable girls and child mothers (104 Western & 40 Eastern Uganda), 200 from Northern Uganda were supported through education, equipped with life skills and have engaged in income generating activities