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Celebrating International Day of the Girl Child!

October 11th marked the International Day of the Girl Child (IDG). This day is dedicated to raising awareness of the unique challenges girls face around the world, such as:

  • Poverty

  • Inequality

  • Gender based violence

  • Sexual harassment and abuse

  • Forced early marriage

  • Teenage pregnancies

  • And more

As well as promoting girls’ rights to basic education, medical treatment, protection from social and economic exploitation, and more.

Most importantly, it is a day to celebrate our girls for their strength, resilience, creativity, beauty and unique expression!

At Girl Up Initiative Uganda, we honored the International Day of the Girl Child in many different ways. We asked the girls how they wanted to celebrate this day, and together we planned the following activities:

VISIT TO THE PARLIAMENT

GUIU took two bus taxis full of girls who are participants in the Adolescent Girls Program, to visit the Parliament so they could see for themselves where laws and legislation are discussed, decided and disputed. The girls asked some challenging questions of our guide (about corruption and funding) and were inspired to learn that the Speaker of Parliament is a woman (Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, also the guest of honor at the Jabulani Charity Concert). We invited the girls to consider what questions they would ask of Parliament (had they been in session) to exercise their right to speak out and be change agents!

(Photo: Girl Up girls attentively listening to the guide at the Parliament)

TEACHING BOYS HOW TO MAKE REUSABLE SANITARY PADS

Several girls from St. James Bbiina Primary School asked if they could lead a training for boys on how to make reusable sanitary pads. It was inspiring to witness this training and see how the engagement of all of the participants, especially the boys. The boys were asking vulnerable questions such as: “What is the importance of a pad?” and “What happens when girls menstruate”. They showed their appreciation for the girls for teaching the boys valuable information.

(Photo: Cynthia taking charge of the pads training)

(Photo: Schoolboys excited to make reusable sanitary pads to share with their mothers and sisters)

(Photo: Schoolboys presenting their finished pads)

SCHOOLS AND MARKET CLEAN-UP

The Girl Up girls mobilized and performed cleanups in several schools and at the Kirombe market to show their commitment to creating clean and safe environments. During their clean-up activities they also engaged peers and adults in conversations about the unique challenges facing girls. Through these clean-up and community education activities they raised awareness and mobilized their communities to take part in supporting equality and girls’ rights. They also demonstrated that they are responsible participants in their communities who have valuable contributions to make.

(Photo: Girls leading a clean-up in Kirombe market)

(Photo: Girls actively cleaning up their community environment)

SPEAKING OUT WITH POEMS AND SKITS

The Girl Up girls at St. James Bbiina Primary School wrote poems and created a skit to honor International Day of the Girl Child. Several members of our Girl Up team had the privilege of witnessing these girls in their unique self expression.

(Photo: Girls performing their skit to celebrate the IDG)

Their poems were so impressive that we wanted to share a couple of them with you. Here they are:

Girl Up: Empowering Girls Through Girl Education

Linda Kukunda

13 years

There are girls just like me, all around the world, dreaming of a bright future, hoping for a job to be proud of, imagining their future family happiness. Anything and everything is achievable, you can do or be whatever you want, but life is full of doors, and you are going to need a key. That key is girl education.