On 12th March 2020, UYAHF was honoured to be a part of the women’s day celebrations in Kakoni zone, Kyaka II refugee settlement, Kyegegwa district. In preparation for the celebrations, the youth advocacy change champions also had the opportunity to draft key messages to be shared during the celebrations. During that week, our youth advocacy change champions had the opportunity to be engaged in two community outreaches as they continue to advocate for an end to teenage pregnancy and child marriage in the settlement and the district as a whole. Some of the key issues that came out of those discussions were the need for more sensitization in the area of sexual reproductive health and rights. It was pointed out that majority of the sensitization being done is in line with protection, food and sanitation but young people often do not get access to correct information when it comes to their sexual health and well-being.

Youth Advocacy Change Champions engaged in development of key messages on women’s rights and equality.

Similar issues were presented during our focus group discussions at our tent during the celebrations. Many young girls pointed out that they are dropping out of school due to lack of knowledge about SRHR and therefore the requested if possible they need more sensitization about SRHR in order for them to try reduce teenage pregnancy in the refugee camps. It was also shared that some girls drop out of school due to lack of sanitary towels or pads within the refugee camp. UYAHF was glad to provide up to 20 free packets of re-usable pads to the girls. However, due to the fact that this is a project that UYAHF is running without any funding, it was not possible to meet the needs of the high numbers of girls who shared that they needed the re-usable pads. UYAHF hopes to further engage with the girls on this and train them on how to use re-usable pads to deal with the problem of high school drop outs in the camp.

Mrs Kanyonyi Agnes, UNHCR, inspects the UYAHF stall

During her inspection of our stall, the acting guest of honor, Mrs Kanyonyi Agnes from UNHCR, pointed out the need for more youth focused interventions like the work that UYAHF is doing and appreciated the use of stories like our comic series ‘Ann’s story’ to relay messages of change to young people.

As agents of change in the community, our youth advocacy change champions also used the opportunity to join hands with the women vision dancers group to make a presentation on the value of upholding women. Through this song, they were able to demystify some existing myths about women and their roles in the community. The link to the song can be found here. We had a total of 311 young people reached out to with information during the celebration between the ages of 13 and 24 years.