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PS: We've changed Caritas Kampala's E-mail address from "caritas.kla@infocom.co.ug" to "director@caritaskampala.org"

Office of Social Services, Economic Development and Human Rights of the Archdiocese of Kampala

Women's Desk

Background

While the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women has made great progress in the attempt to achieve gender equality since its formation in 1946, women’s issues vary by location and to date the struggle remains global. In Africa, the Catholic Church has played a positive and active role in voicing women’s rights, placing emphasis on the ‘feminization of poverty’ as a key problem both within the church and society at large. It is against this background and compounded by the needs of women in the aftermath of the civil war that Caritas Kampala in 1986 established a Women’s Desk to provide relief services. Since its existence, the Women’s Desk has grown considerably stronger by providing a diverse range of activities that address the holistic needs of women.  The activities cover development thematic areas in health; education; human rights with a major focus on gender; agriculture and savings and credit scheme.  

Objectives

  • Promoting gender sensitive ideologies and practices in communities.

  • Enhancing the capacity of women’s groups and associations to be more effective in poverty reduction.

  • To promote socio-economic status of women in order to enhance their dignity.

  • To contribute to a conducive environment to enable women and the girl child uphold their legal status and human rights.

  • To enhance women’s and men’s spiritual growth and ensure effective human integral development.

 

Target Communities in the Functioning Catholic Parishes of:

 

Kampala, Mitala-Maria and Wakiso Episcopal Zones in the parishes of: Kamwokya, Katende, Mpigi, Ggoli, Gombe ,Kkonge, Kiziba, Naddangira, Masajja, Kibiri, Kisubi and Mpala.

Activities

  • Savings and Credit Scheme (PROMIC) and business consultancy services to improve income generation for women organized in small development groups.

  • Caritas Kampala Women’s Desk Production Unit, a social empowerment entity (skills and income) that is producing reusable sanitary pads, which are distributed in schools, and sold to women’s groups and to individuals in communities.

  • Livelihood programme for food production, security and economic development targeting households in the sub-counties of Makindye Ssabagabo, Katabi and Kalamba,

  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme for better health and improved livelihoods, targeting schools and communities.

 

Achievements

  • 2 women's groups from Masajja and Kiziba parishes received new tailoring machines funded by Trocaire - Uganda to aid the making of sanitary pads for income generation and skills development.

  • Women's groups from Nsambya, Kamwokya and Masajja Parishes were trained in making of reusable sanitary pads (skills development).

  • Access to hygienically and secure latrines with water supply through the construction of lined-up pit latrines and remodeling of old facilities.

  • Access to clean and safe water in schools through the construction of  water harvesting tanks.

  • Personal hygiene stressed on a daily basis by locally putting up tippy taps in schools.

  • Boys very active in menstrual hygiene activities, especially making of reusable sanitary pads.

  • Secured a three year contract from Caritas Uganda to supply reusable sanitary kits to a refugee camp in Northern Uganda (Yumbe).

  • Conducted specialized workshops on personal and menstrual hygiene, reproductive health, gender and social and cultural norms.

 

Challenges

  • Overwhelming demand for WASH facilities in schools.

  • An inadequate loanable fund to reach all would-be loan clients.

  • High demand for trainings in GBV and WASH and menstrual hygiene management in schools and communities.

  • Insufficient funds for fabrics to allow the Desk to purchase reusable sanitary materials in bulk quantities.

  • High demand for reusable sanitary kits for girls and women in rural settings.

 

Future Plans

  • Strengthening partnerships locally and internationally.

  • Introducing the financial literacy sessions within the specialised seminars in schools.

  • Loan disbursements to new active and organised women's groups.

  • Training workshops on WASH and menstrual hygiene, nutrition and other cross-cutting issues in development practice.

  • Strengthen marketing drives for the reusable sanitary pads.

Women's Desk Project

Caritas Kampala

Women's Desk