The CHanGE-makers were amazed by the motivation and drive carried out by the Champions. Their efforts are absolutely necessary.

17th to 20th of July 2019, was a hive of activities at Uganda Youth and adolescents Health Forum – (UYAHF) as three Belgian CHanGE-makers from the (campaign for sexual Health and Gender Equality), joined the team (UYAHF) for a field trip in Kyaka II refugee settlement camp Kyegwgwa District. The CHanGE makers included Linde Wyns, Johannes Cools and Michelle Geerardyn.

The main goal of the field trip was to witness the work done by the newly recruited 20 young Change Champions who are on the ground advocating against teenage pregnancies, child marriages among other sexual and reproductive health issues and concerns that are ravaging the quality of young ones in the southwestern district.

Changemakers together with Change champions in Kyegegwa district.

CHanGE-makers are on this visit as part of their Campaign on sexual Health and Gender Equality (CHanGE), which aims to bring attention to activists and organizations who are working on bringing positive changes for gender equality and SRHR. This year’s campaign is specifically looking at the intersection with the migration context, making the Youth Advocates for Change in the Kyaka II settlement a very interesting case.

One of the change champions reiterated that “it might be a good idea to advocate for things like safe abortion so that Uganda, like Belgium, stops losing so many teenage mothers to unsafe abortions!’ Robert-Change Champion Kyegegwa.

Kyegegwa district, like many Ugandan rural districts, suffers from high rates of post-abortion care services among young people.

The two cohorts jointly conducted community outreaches, made visits to Kyegegwa Health District Office, the settlement commandant and some NGOs who are active in the settlement (such as ACORD and Save the Children).

Changemakers from Belgium during partner engagements within Kyaka II camp, Kyegegwa District.

The District Health Educator Lawrence noted that the most pressing issue seems to be the high frequency of child marriages and teenage pregnancies; with much higher numbers than the national averages, he said the main causes are lack of SRHR knowledge, violence and negative influence from family members.

Robert, the camp commandant said, “The challenges concerning teenage pregnancies and marriage are mainly rooted in cultural practices that are not friendly to women especially girls and young mothers.

CHanGE-makers also held meetings with a number of partners including(UNHCR), Danish Refugee Council, Good neighbors among others.

The CHanGE-makers were amazed by the motivation and drive carried out by the Champions. Their efforts are absolutely necessary.

Prepared by Nelson Kukundakwe, Communications, Advocacy, and Documentation Officer