We work with vulnerable women and girls living in conditions of extreme poverty to boost their economic and educational participation. By empowering them with entrepreneurial skills and the confidence to build a strong future, through employment and/or entrepreneurship endeavors their income improves living conditions for themselves and their families thereby transforming their communities.
They bear the children, care for their families, work the garden, and spend hours walking for water. Too often these responsibilities keep them from the education and opportunities that would improve the lives of their whole families. As girls come of age in poor areas of Africa, they do not have the luxury to think about who they could become or what they’d like to do. Their aspirations, hopes, and dreams are often swept away as they are consumed with performing chores. They often have to drop out of school, marry soon after reaching puberty, and become young mothers — a vicious cycle that diminishes their economic potential and impacts their health.
Young Ugandan women and girls participate in the U-TOUCH intensive month-long Women’s Empowerment (WE) program to challenge traditional and limited gender roles and redefine women as valuable and powerful. Empowerment for women only happens when they can envisage a different life and consider themselves able and entitled to make decisions. Building on the solid foundation of women’s rights the participants of the WE Program develop self-esteem, leadership, life skills, business and technology skills for the Digital Age.
The beneficiaries of the WE Program have realized that life can be more than struggle and hardship. For the first time they see opportunity – then hope – then the confidence to set their own goals and develop a plan. Empowered with an array of effective life skills, access to technology and surrounded by positive support these women begin a successful journey toward economic freedom.
With their U-TOUCH certification, the graduates of the WE Program have started successful businesses, been employed, or have been promoted. With their increased income, they can now afford health and medical care and provide access to education for their extended families.
It is extraordinarily exciting to witness Ugandan women having access to technology and immediately redefining what is possible. Learning computer skills and accessing unlimited information on the Internet shatters their notion of what they can do – the sky is now the limit. The Women and Girls’ Empowerment program unlocks their hidden potential, in fact, the impact is profound and sustainable! Empowering women changes communities and economies.
The U-TOUCH Women and Girls’ Empowerment Program transforms the targeted women and girls’ lives in real and meaningful ways. however additionally, indirect outcomes are also measured in quantifiable metrics, such as the number of children graduates are educating with their new income.
Over a thousand women have graduated the U-TOUCH Women’s Empowerment program. These women are now teachers, politicians, computer teachers, software developers, advocates for girl childhood education, government administrators, fashion designers, caterers, nurses, professors, pharmacists, (and so many more) are economically self-reliant, successfully taking care of themselves, their family and contributing to the community.
U-TOUCH Women’s Empowerment Program transforms women’s lives in real and meaningful ways. Outcomes can be measured in many quantifiable metrics, such an increased economic status, however other outcomes tend to be less calculable, though equally impactful in terms of quality of life.
Read more about how this program is supporting young people with their education by viewing our blog posts here here