Fundraiser
Ensonga Project.
We are youth led and youth focused charity seeking to empower, educate, inspire and prepare young people with specific emphasis on adolescents and young women through Sexual reproductive health and rights, HIV prevention, WASH programs and livelihood support programs in rural and hard to reach areas of Uganda.

About our Team Leader; 

Joseph is a young leader, the founder and team leader of Philomera Hope Foundation, Uganda. His vision started way back in 2012 when he thought of an idea to empower fellow young people both in and out of school to enable them make informed choices about their health and bodies.

His story and anxiety started as early as childhood when his only sister got infected with HIV/AIDS in her early days of adolescence. With little or even no knowledge about the disease, Joseph’s parents opted to visit witchdoctors in shrines and fortune tellers thinking that their only daughter had been bewitched. Jenipher, the sister to Joseph had her body all filled with sores and had developed severe cough; tuberculosis. This was all done to save her life!

Some other advisers and friends advise Joseph’s parents to visit places of prayer and worship to have their daughter prayed for to get cured from the strange disease. All this was in vain!

One day, their mother after trying almost all options with no hope of change and recovery, opted to visit the only health centre IV, the medics hurriedly attended to the brought patient and after a series of tests, Jenipher was tested HIV positive. Every one wondered of where she had contracted the disease until she openly testified and admitted to having been raped by one of the employees who were working on a road construction as she headed back home from school. Unfortunately she had not reported the case to any relevant authorities including her parents.

As a matter of fact, it was already too late as Jenipher lost her life to HIV/AIDS.

From all that traumatizing experience, Joseph realized the need to close the information gaps more especially in fellow young people to get to know facts about HIV/AIDS, myths and misconceptions about growing up and general body changes from childhood, adolescence to adulthood.” Many young people are faced with several challenges as they grow up and there is need to find lasting solutions to such problems by them, young people, since they know what affects them directly and they are in position to find a remedy for such by themselves” Joseph quotes. Thus developing a slogan, nothing for young people, without young people.

Joseph is a seasoned sexual reproductive health and rights advocate, a HIV Activist, youth enthusiast and a well known feminist activist. He has represented young people on issues affecting them on different platforms locally, nationally and globally.

He started his activism in school where he formed the school Anti-AIDS Club through which students discussed issues affecting them with specific emphasis on preventing the spread of HIV and this enable him to be recognized by Junior Achievement Uganda in the nomination of Junior Angels Award in 2015.

He has championed several youth to join and advocate for themselves using different forums through his initiative which is now nationally registered as a national NGO operating in Uganda with major emphasis in remote areas of central Uganda.

He leads a team of over 81 peer educators and three full time staff working to empower a youth led movement aimed at empowering fellow young people between 10-30 years through sexual reproductive health and rights, behavioral change campaigns, life changing skills and basic development work.

 About our Organization:

Philomera Hope Center Foundation was founded in February 2012 by a group of young people, then University students from Makerere University Kampala who traced their roots from Ssese Islands present day Kalangala island district in L.Victoria. The group was made up of energetic young people/ students who were passionate about public health and wellbeing of their peers in different communities. The organization started as a weekend outreach program(on volunteer basis) by students from University visiting different schools in and out of the island talking to their peers about different life changing skills, sharing knowledge and information about their sexual reproductive health and rights and the importance of staying and finishing school. This was all aimed in attempt to fully equip these fellow young people in schools and communities with knowledge and information to be in position to make informed choices and decisions about their lives, health and bodies to finally maximize their full potential and attain the best future that they were all yelling for! Philomera Hope Center Foundation was later in March 2013 registered as a Community Based organization in Kalangala island district and then as a company limited by guarantee in December 2013 to be in position to operate on a regional (central region) level since the founder members discovered that what affected young people in Kalangala affected many others in the region; more about the organization is given below;

Philomera Hope Center Foundation Uganda (PHF) is a youth led non-profit organization focused on youth empowerment programs with an emphasis on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention and livelihood support activities. We also fundamentally focus on changing social norms and values that limit access to SRHR services and information through designing effective communication strategies and campaigns to create awareness and mitigate sexual health risks among the young people today.

We consist of a dynamic, passionate and committed young team, who believe in the power, potential and future of young people. PHF’s strength further lies in the elaborate network of partners that are inclusive key players in the field of SRHR as well as volunteers. Our program interventions basically emphasize on inclusiveness and non discrimination/stigma with the aim of bringing forth and raising voices of young key population groups to be heard and integrated in programs and decision making that matters to their health and well being. We specifically emphasize on building the knowledge base of adolescent girls and young women from vulnerable populations about their sexual reproductive health needs and gender equality issues in a bid to help them make right and informed choices about their health and positively influence their peers.

Through community dialogues, we promote gender equity and equality through advocacy and promotion of respect for women and girl rights, prevention of sexual and gender based violence and elimination of all forms of teenage pregnancies and child marriages. Such engagements are aimed at empowering communities and putting them at the fore front of leading and eliminating barriers that stand in the way of women and girls and deter them from fulfilling and meeting their full potential.

Through our work, we address the need to empower and build capacities of young people to lead on a youth led advocacy and accountability for increased scale up of quality sexual reproductive health and rights including access to SRHR information and youth friendly services; youth corners and better life changing opportunities.

 

Vision: “To foster a healthy generation of young people ready to advocate for themselves and transform their communities.”

                                           

Mission: “To advance the human rights and well being of vulnerable people in Uganda."

About Our  Project;

Not knowing how to manage menstruation, or lacking the menstrual hygiene materials to do so, can cause girls to miss up to 4-5 school days each month, dramatically impacting their education. Philomera Hope Center Foundation Uganda (PHFU) will train 10,000 school-aged girls in the Kalangala District on menstrual hygiene, health management, and the production of reusable sanitary pads. They will also increase school-aged children’s access to clean water and sanitation facilities by installing water harvesting tanks and hand washing facilities. We shall also provide disposable containers for disposable pads in girls pit latrines. With this funding, this project will contribute to improved menstrual hygiene and health management among these girls, resulting in increased school attendance and better education outcomes for girls.Menstruation is an integral, natural and normal process in a woman’s life. Menstrual hygiene upholds the dignity and well-being of women and girls. It is a vital part of the basic hygiene and reproductive health services that every woman and girl has a right to access.
However, menstruation and menstrual health are still seen as taboo in many African societies. But menstrual hygiene cannot be left to women and girls to discuss in secrecy and isolation. It must be acknowledged as a subject for public discussion. Education regarding menstrual health should be promoted.
The names that people use to refer to menstruation show how it is perceived and handled by different communities, and often convey how unwilling people are to mention it. In the Central Region of Uganda it is referred as “Ensonga” or “the issue”’; but this does not reduce the cultural practices and social myths which make it difficult for both men and women to talk about menstruation.
It’s against this background that we have decided to take on “Ensonga” as the project name so as to break the silence related to the menstruation stigma among girls, boys, parents, teachers and the entire community.
The “Ensonga” Campaign is a two year project. The project is aimed to contribute to improve Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) among school going adolescent girls and young women through improved access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities within primary and secondary schools in Kalangala District. Adolescent girls will be empowered with MHM information including use of reusable sanitary pads through formation of She clubs and construction of sustainable WASH facilities. The project slogan is #MenstruationMatters.
This is all aimed at helping the girl child manage their Menstruation with dignity and thus be in position not to miss in case menstrual cycle starts. This will enable the girl child reach her full potential and compete favorably.
Statistics from the district show that 5 in every 10 girls misses school and even some leave school because of menstrual matters in fear of staining their uniforms and then being laughed at by boys. This has led to high girl child school dropout leading to contraction of HIV/AIDS whose prevalence rates now stand at 21% , teenage pregnancies and child marriages. 

Kalangala is an island district made up of 84 islands of which 64 are habitable. It can only be accessed by water prohibiting many service providers who have phobia for water to neglect and isolate the area living the citizens very vulnerable. The district has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence standing at 21% way beyond the national 6% figures. 28% of the girls between 15-18 years are child mothers and more 9% are expectant mothers. This is all caused by dropping out of school and not finishing school which is majorly attributed to menstrual matters. Adolescent girls stay away from school whenever the menstrual cycle starts leading to poor grades and thus dropping out caused by the high poverty levels and limited prioritization by the parents to buy the menstrual pads. In addition there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding menstruation including but not limited to that wherever a girl strats menstruating, then she is ready for marriage which has grossly contributed to child mothers and increased spread of HIV in the district. Many parents see their daughters as a source of wealth through dowry and yes, we want to break all the poor myths and misconceptions and keep her  to finish school in order to fully maximize her full potential.

Training 10,000 school going girls on producing reusable sanitary pads.

Construction of water harvesting facilities/tanks in our partner schools.

Providing hand washing facilities in our different partner schools.

Formation of Her Voice Clubs in partner schools where problems affecting them can be discussed and solved with help of the empowered senior women teachers and our well trained peer educators.

This is a one year project and the outcomes are as follows;

 Improved knowledge on sustainable Menstrual Hygiene Management among 10,000 school going adolescent girls through formation of sanitation health clubs and training on Reusable sanitary pads within selected primary and secondary schools.
Increased knowledge and awareness on sustainable hygiene and sanitation practices among 10000 school going adolescent girls within primary and secondary schools.
Increased access to safe, clean water and sanitation facilities for 10000 school going adolescent girls within primary and secondary schools.

Statistics about Kalangala District;

Teenage and Unwanted pregnancies: 143/3548*100%=11%

 

HIV Prevalence among youth and adolescents is 21%

 

Other STI including Gonorrhea and Syphilis: 5104/9158*100%=56%

 

Contraception access and utilization: 1944/18663*100%=10%

 

Sexual and gender based violence is 39.8% caused by alcoholism and drug abuse.

 

Maternal mortality is: 5/10570*1000%=1.3%

 

Infant mortality 53/2880*1000%=29%

 

Unsafe Abortion and related complications: 163/504*100%=32%

 

Number of Youth and Adolescents:

Youth: 18-30=16105

Adolescents: 15-25= 9235

 

Number Youth in Bugala(main Island): Females= 3548

                                                                  Male= 3905

Total population of youth and adolescents in the whole district: Female 31047 and     23246 males

 

Totaling up to 53292 adolescents and youth in the whole island district.

 

Youth OUT OF SCHOOL are 10546

 

Number of Health Centers:

2 health Center IV

7 health center III

7 health center II

 

OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP

You can alternatively help through volunteering with our organization by sharing this information about our campaign to different people who may intersested in extending a hand in support of our work, share on your different social media pages and within you circles too!

This might interest many in our work and hence provide support!


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