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:
Gender based violence
Sexual harassment and abuse
Forced early marriage
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
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.
Empowering girls through girl education is the heart of everything we do at Girl Up Initiative Uganda, so to make sure that you have the key, you need to unlock your future. Girl Up partnered up with girls all over Uganda to create their future and they’re already seeing plenty of futures.
In Senegal, 40,000 girls my age have need of Girl Up Initiative Uganda to unlock their future. Our dream is to spread this opportunity for girl education to many and more girls in many other countries around the world. This is the future we want to give girls everywhere with a brighter future through Girl Up Initiative Uganda. We have achieved our goals. Thank you Girl Up Initiative Uganda for your help. May God bless you.
(Photo: Linda with her poem)
Girls Girls Girls Suffer A Lot
Gloria Patricia Nabwire
Girls are raped and defiled
Girls are the mothers of tomorrow
Girls suffer a lot because they miss school because of the menstruation period. Let’s support them. Girls build this world.
Some are forced into early marriage and made child mothers. Let’s help the girls to fight for their rights because girls are the mothers of this country.
Girls’ rights should be respected.
Girls should be respected.
It’s not girls’ fault to be raped because they want a better future.
People who rape girls should be imprisoned at Malufeenya, not even Luzira.
Now we speak our language. We were not allowed to speak but now the Speaker of Parliament is a woman.
So support us.
We are flowers of the world.
We are the shining stars.
Thank you Girl Up for teaching us what we didn’t know.
Thank you Girl Up for paying for some of us school fees.
Thank all our coaches for teaching us.
May God bless you.
Thank you for taking the time to celebrate and support our Girl Up girls. We encourage you to share this post with your communities so they can also be inspired by their power, hope, and brilliance! Together, we are making the world a better place by empowering girls so they can become thriving leaders in their schools, communities, and nation.