Uganda: Kassanda in Drive to Protect Girls Against Sexual Abuse

26 November 2021

Leaders in Kassanda District have embarked on a campaign to give girls skills to earn a living to protect them from sexual abuse.

Ms Phoebe Namulindwa, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) told Daily Monitor in an interview this week: "The district has registered 2,500 teenage pregnancy cases in 10 months. The future for these girls is already compromised. We have heard stories where some of these girls claim that they lacked the basic necessities and possibly got trapped as they tried to get some money to meet the basics. This is what we should try to fix as stakeholders."

"We welcome all efforts from both individuals and organisations that are focused on improving the welfare of the girl child. When these girls have income projects, they may not fall for the cheap promises from selfish men that spoil their future," Ms Namulindwa added.

Ms Ritah Nagayi Buuza, the district probation officer, said they are supporting the skilling initiative for the girl child powered by Hope After Rape Organisation, an NGO, which targets girls of school-going age.

"It is unfortunate that Kassanda was recently ranked 10th among districts with high defilement cases in a 2020 police crime report. We need to help these young girls get busy and embrace the skilling programmes," she said.

According to the district health department, high cases of teenage pregnancies were recorded in Kalwana, Bukuya, Myanzi, Nalutuntu and Kassanda sub-counties.

Mr Fred Kifubangabo, the director of Hope After Rape Organisation, said young girls have opportunity for a better life after such unfortunate incidents.

"While we target girls that are raped, we have opened a wider door for the skilling of the young girls to avoid the tempting and compromised situations," he said.

"Several young girls get pregnant as they look for survival. At the end, they get enticed and fail to get the promises after getting pregnant. We believe that once these girls have some income-generating projects, it could reduce the numbers falling prey to selfish men," Mr Kifubangabo said.

He said they are helping more than 3,800 young girls through economic empowerment projects.

Mr Kifubangabo also said the girls are sensitised, given start-up capital for small projects, adding that about 13,000 girls in the district are expected to be benefit under a project called DREAMS.

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