We return to Uganda for another heartwarming story, this time from the Kakazi Foundation and their work with young women.
Blessing Bakashaba, Executive Director of Kakazi Foundation speaks exclusively for Youth Time and shares her activism, as well as the work of Kakazi Foundation – an organisation working towards empowering young women in Uganda.
Being one of the founders, Bakashaba briefs our readers on their mission, and how this initiative is creating an equal and fair society.
Kakazi Foundation was established in March 2020 by a team of five young women with a belief that all girls deserve a chance to succeed and dream of a life that is fulfilling.
This initiative is of crucial importance in a society where three in every 10 girls leave school for marriage and one in every five girls leave school because of pregnancy [source: The Uganda Bureau of Statistics].
Bakashaba delves more on this, and how this organisation empowers young women to discover their potential.
Fighting Early Marriages with Education
Initially, she explains, they fulfil their mission by equipping young women with skills through mentorship, training and education to help them embrace and reach their full potential to create change in themselves- and ultimately in their communities.
While talking about women’s rights in the country, we brought into discussion that Uganda has one of the highest early marriages in the world.
Hence, Kakazi Foundation’s work is an important asset for the feminist agenda fighting early marriages.
“We, as a feminist organisation advocate for the importance of girls keeping in school and helps the community understand the opportunities that education offers through mentorship by holding women empowerment physical and online trainings monthly to discuss issues like the dangers of childhood marriages and effects of early marriages and teenage pregnancies on girls and the community not only educating the girls but the community as well.”
Also, we do this by promoting healthy dialogue to build a better and transformative community in which girls and women enjoy equal opportunities to develop and thrive; she adds.
“We also provide vocational training skills like cookery, bakery, knitting and sewing to underprivileged girls and young women to empower them to become financially independent to create a better life for themselves and keep them busy to prevent them from engaging in early marriages.”
The key to this, she goes on, is to give them training that provides them with relevant skills that match the needs of the local labour market.
Young Women Being the Change They Want to See
One of the Foundation’s aims is to equip women to be the positive change they want to see in their societies.
Bakashaba tells us how they achieve this, and how it is going so far.
“We encourage girls and young women to be the change they want to be; first, by leading by example and also through confidence building sessions in the communities which have so far been going on well, turning a few youths into fearless influencers of society, however.”
Lately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic social distancing measures, she goes on; they could not go into schools and communities physically and have therefore resorted to online training and campaigns.
At the end of the interview, she also explains how young people can support them by volunteering and donating opportunities.
“One of the best ways to support us is by helping us tell our story through social media and sharing press and connection opportunities,” she says.
Conclusively, she recalls a quote she loves, by R.H.Sin:
“Some women fear the fire. Some women simply become it.”
Having this in mind, for all the young women out there, Bakashaba has a message:
“Become that undeniable fire that positively changes herself and the world around her!”
Kakazi Foundation also offers volunteer and internship opportunities for the youth to help them train girls and young women on income generating skills.
If you are interested, you can send them an email with your resume and a letter of interest at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starting from this September, Bakashaba is coming to your screen with the show Everything Woman, every Sunday at 9pm on Stv Uganda!
You can join her in conversations about how to remove systematic barriers that hold back women from equal participation in all areas of life.
Another trip to Uganda for our writer here:
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