The Nyonga Women’s Shelter- Jinja​, Uganda!

17 Aug


Whilst attending the Uganda Feminist Forum, earlier this month, I had the honour of meeting some of the powerful feminine forces from Uganda, one was Rose Kigere. Rose is an activist, feminist and the executive director for Women Rights Initiative (WORI)

This is her-story
Rose graduated with a BA. (Hon) Human resource management (Busoga University.) as well as a BA. (Hon) in Social work and Social development ( Fairland​ University).
She founded the Women rights Initiative together with two other women who and over the last decade have been educating women in Uganda about domestic violence using the Media, community Training and art.

WORI (Women Rights Initiative Uganda)

WORI is a women’s prosperity charity based in Eastern Uganda in the beautiful city of Jinja and created in 2007 to respond to the challenges of​ women’s rights, poverty, awareness on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, capacity building in leadership and governance at a grassroots level. 
They are leading four main programs: 
* Leadership Capacity Building
* Sexual Reproductive Health
* Economic Empowerment
* Human Rights

As the awareness sessions on Domestic and gender-based violence increased, many women began reporting cases of abuse and what they could offer then was counseling. Along with her team at Women Rights Initiative, Rose began a journey of creating a safe reliable space where Women would receive a holistic centered service concerning domestic abuse. They used their skills to bake for charity and earned money from selling cakes that enabled them to buy land where we have been able to build the shelter.
Rose was greatly involved in the planning, design and resource mobilization that led to the construction of the biggest shelter in Uganda 

In conversation with her, I asked how she would best describe the state of GBV in Uganda.
” The state of Gender-based violence is alarming especially in the rural settings where most cultures are still extremely rigid and consider women as second-hand citizens. The patriarchal behaviours still loom highly and deprive women and children of the safety, security and full enjoyment of their rights.”

The Nyonga Women’s Shelter Project

The Nyonga Women’s Shelter is the cornerstone project of the human rights program of the Women’s Rights Initiative (WORI). 
Rose and her team decided to start the Nyonga Women’s Shelter project to offer these women a safe space. The shelter is now built and they have received survivors for counseling. They have succeeded in fundraising for a perimeter security wall to keep the residents safe away from the risk of further violence, stalking and other threats. 

The shelter includes six bedrooms for victims, as well as facilities for legal aid, medical examination, and counseling. Day services such as counseling are now being offered to victims. The facility will continue rolling out other services as financial support comes in.

The next step is to have enough money to get all the furniture needed for women and children as well as a solar panel system to provide a sustainable power source! They aim to host women and children by September 2019! 

WORI is currently planning three small businesses (bakery, reusable pads, and a bridal outlet) which we hope will be able to provide all expenses to cover the shelter, and we aim to be self-funded by 2020. 

​WORI is seeking funding for 
For their water pump and solar panels, these would allow the shelter to be self-sufficient, eco-friendly and free from large utility bills
​To have their library
​To create an outdoor space where mothers and children could play together
 To create a small garden to achieve food self-sufficiency
 To organize sports activities to regain self-esteem (Kick-Boxing, Krav Maga, Dance)


Testimonies from survivors:
​Lydia is the mother of three children in rural Busoga. For Lydia, being a mother in the home means to be respected, loved and to give love and respect back. Because her husband has neglected their family, Lydia came to WORI for help. Without WORI’s leadership training and advice, Lydia said she could not see a future for her children.

​”For me, being a woman means to be patient and strong.” 
Catherine lives in rural Busoga, Uganda and is the current mother of two children. Her husband, who is no longer supportive of her and her children, tried to sell their property and attempted to intimidate Catherine and her children out of there home. He neglected his duties as both a husband and a father. Catherine was forced to take care of her children by herself. Throughout the neglect, one of Catherine’s children, a third child, fell sick and died. With the help of WORI, Catherine was given the guidance and advice to start up her own business. She now sells charcoal and groceries to support herself and her children. Catherine is a #vocalwoman and will not be silenced. 

Kigere Rose 
Executive Director 
Women Rights Initiative (WORI)
Tel +256 434 121856


One Response to “The Nyonga Women’s Shelter- Jinja​, Uganda!”

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