Project #216 | Asante Africa Foundation COVID-19
Our partnership with Asante Africa
Adolescent girls in East Africa face challenges that stem from discriminatory practices, the cultural stigma associated with puberty and menstruation, gender-based violence, and early marriage. Closures caused by the spread of COVID-19 have exacerbated these conditions. Communities are burdened with school closures, curfew implementation, food scarcity, and deepened political insecurity. These challenges have translated to the loss of safe space for students, increased child labor, early marriage, and gang recruitment. As a result, girls are facing higher dropout rates in rural areas. While this project focuses on girls education, Asante actively includes boys so they can learn to empathize with the lived experiences of the girls in their community.
One Day’s Wages partnered with Asante Africa to respond to COVID in Kassanda, Uganda, focusing on children being impacted by the school closures. Funds from a matching grant went towards creating learning groups of 7-10 children, overseen by an adult from the community, that took place in community ‘safe spaces’ as an alternative learning environment. This is especially important for distance learning when students who live in remote areas do not have access to the internet or other resources they need to continue their education. Additional resources covered by the matching grant included menstrual products for girls and meetings with parents and children to ensure they are able to talk about sensitive topics.
Our Collective Impact
Girls Receiving Feminine Hygiene Supplies
Students Enrolled in Savings Groups
Family Members Received Facilitated Discussions on Gender Based Violence
Sarah lives with her mother and grandmother in rural Kassanda, Uganda. She needed to make money to support her family and meet her own needs during the pandemic. Using the skills she learned in her Asante Africa program, she started a gardening project growing green peppers and eggplants.
While waiting for her crops to grow, Sarah suggested to her mother and grandmother that they open a shop, selling items from their farm. The older women welcomed the idea and they opened a store. Sarah helps her mother run the store, and they have now expanded to stocking other items like soda and tomatoes. Her mother is now a self-employed shopkeeper.
Sarah says, “I’m happy to have gained skills for running a successful business. But mostly because my elders listened to me and embraced my ideas, instead of dismissing them because of my age and gender. I’m happy to have joined the Asante Africa Foundation club because I’ve been able to discover a lot about myself.”
Sarah is a mentor to other girls in her community and encourages them to speak up and not be afraid to share their ideas. Sarah encourages other Asante Africa group members to focus on education, to keep themselves safe, and to respect their bodies by avoiding pregnancy and contracting diseases like AIDS.
Thank you for making this possible!
Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.
If you want to support future projects like this you can make a donation to our human trafficking fund.