The Alliance of Women Advocating for Change (AWAC)

20 Jan

4fvKsfUj_400x400

My three passions in life are Women, Africa, and the arts. In 2019, I attended the Ugandan Feminist forum where I had the opportunity to meet and work with some of Uganda’s powerful warriors who are advocating for change. One lady was Ms Kyomya Macklean, the executive director for the Alliance of Women Advocating for Change (AWAC). She is also a social Worker & Champion of the sex worker Movement in Uganda

The Alliance of Women Advocating for Change (AWAC) is a network of grassroots female sex worker led-organizations in Uganda. The NGO was established in 2015 by the champions of the female sex worker movement to promote meaningful involvement and collective organizing of rural & peri-urban Female Sex Workers (FSWs), especially those operating in hard to reach areas such as slum areas, landing sites, transit routes. It was established to enable rural & peri-urban based grassroots FSWs to live free from human rights abuse to live healthy and productive lives in Uganda.

AWAC Core Values:
* Mutual Respect and Integrity.
* Empowerment and Meaningfully involvement
* Transparency and Accountability
* Evidence-based programming and human rights-based approach
* Innovation and Excellence

AWAC’s Objectives
* To promote and raise awareness on the welfare needs of sex workers and also advocate for policies that further the health and values of sex workers; These rights include the right to health and a safe working environment free from abuse, violence, and discrimination in Uganda.
* Strengthening a vibrant national and sustainable sex workers’ movement in Uganda.
* Mobilizing and organizing sex workers for policy advocacy and facilitative opportunities for the voices of sex workers​ to be heard in relevant forums both at a national and international level.
* Developing and sustaining linkages between service providers, sex worker organizations and relevant stakeholders to provide practical information and opportunities for quality services and information sharing among sex worker organizations and projects which provide services to sex workers.
* To economically empower grassroots rural and peri-urban FSWs to diversify their income and improve their social-economic well-being in Uganda.
* To provide social protection, psychosocial support, and mental health needs to children of FSWs engaged in sex work in Uganda.
* To undertake research and document human rights abuses experienced by grassroots FSWs engaged in sex work for evidence-based programming, advocacy and policy change in Uganda.

AWAC is governed by a Female only board of five members. They have wide experience in corporate governance. They have various professional backgrounds ranging from human rights, medicine, financial management, gender and HIV programming, and a sex worker community representative with a wealth of lived experiences in grassroots advocacy. The organisation​ is headed by the Executive Director and directly supported by five marshalled​ and indigenous staff including Advocacy and communication Manager, Research and knowledge management Manager, Programs Manager, Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL) and Business Development Manager and the Finance and Administrative Manager. The above staff have impeccable experience in leadership, resource mobilization, strategic planning, policy and advocacy, collaboration, networking, and partnerships building, economic empowerment, mental health management (counseling and psychotherapy), OVC case management/ child protection), Gender-Based Violence prevention and management, HIV and sexual reproductive health and rights programming, documentation, research, and learning.

The core business of AWAC is to improve the health and socio-economic well-being of vulnerable women especially female sex workers including those facing multiple forms of vulnerabilities such as those living with disabilities. Additionally, WAC targets children of female sex workers living in destitute conditions and adolescent young girls engaged in sex work. They work to mobilize and multi-skill them through mentorship/coaching, functional adult literacy, safe space dialogues to increase their self-esteem and improve health-seeking behavior, raise financial literacy and improve livelihood and overall socio-economic well-being through a variety of income-generating activities such as hair salons, retail shops, shoemaking, catering, craft making, tailoring, theatre for development among others. They also advocate​ for the protection of rights and equitable access to services for vulnerable women. They work with various organizations that serve as referral points for services that it does not directly offer. These include health units, social welfare departments of government, law enforcement officers, non-governmental organizations and other donor-funded projects.

EKyBCFwWkAAu7M_
Contact details:

Located: Mulago; Kampala Uganda
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/awacuganda
Twitter: http://twitter.com/awacuganda
Skype: kyomya.macklean
Phone: +256414664730, +256701603754
Email: awacuganda@gmail.com, kmacklean@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: