Empowering Africa’s future

In Bungokho County, Eastern Uganda the community has been ravaged by the HIV/Aids epidemic. These families that comprise the communities have been decimated and an entire generation lost. Leaving behind grandmothers and grandfathers and a few lucky Aunts, Uncles, and older siblings to raise the children absent of any traditional family structure adding to the burden that the girl children already bear in the current social structure and attitude towards women and the girl child.
In response to these tragic developments Foundation for Development of Needy Communities (FDNC) found it necessary to empower the girl child to dispel the traditional attitudes towards women as property and to ensure that the girl child can become equal contributors and in some cases the sole contributor for the family.
Church World Service has partnered with the FDNC and through advocacy, policy making, a vocational school, a girls High School, and with direct sponsorship the FDNC has embarked on the empowerment of the girl child to help elevate these communities ravaged by poverty, the HIV/Aids epidemic, and food shortages.
The efforts on advocacy and policy making in the region are beginning to take root and are growing in its reach. Many of the surrounding communities such as Tororo, Palisa, and Sironkgo are advocating the empowerment and education of the girl child and traditional attitudes towards the girl child are changing. FDNC has been recognized for its work in this area by the local Governmental office of Uganda.
In response to the growing success of the girl child empowerment project FDNC has begun the Nabumali Girls High School. This high school is focusing on science and technology in hopes to educate more girls in these areas and provide the training necessary for the girls to achieve their dreams. The high school is also operated in conjunction with sponsorship of girls that live too far away from the high school to attend. With sponsorship comes school fees, uniforms, vocational training, and for some self-reliant activities such as goat rearing, and income generating activities to sustain their livelihoods.
Many of these young girls sponsored by FDNC are the head of the household. One such young girl is Justine Musibiicha. Justine is fifteen years old and is raising her four siblings (ages 13,11,9,and 5 years old) as she attends high school. She attends high school with the assistance of FDNC at a school just two kilometers away from here home so she can be closer to the family she is raising.
Justine lost her father in 2001 due to Aids. The little land they had owned was sold to pay for her father’s treatment of his condition. She then lost her mother in 2003 also from the HIV/Aids epidemic. Her grandmother was able to support her until she passed away in early 2004 leaving Justine as the head of her household. Since early 2004 Justine relied on hand outs from the community to survive and to provide for her four siblings. Then FDNC stepped in to sponsor her and provide her with an education. Justine now dreams of climbing out of the poverty cycle she and her siblings are currently in. Justine dreams and aspires to be a doctor. To provide a living for her family and to help in combating the HIV/Aids epidemic which has robbed her of her parents and many other childrens parents in the region. This dream is possible due to the work of FDNC through the girl child empowerment program and CWS partners funding this program.

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