ZENZ helps prostituted girls to a better life
Thousands of young girls and women in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, are forced to prostitute themselves in order to support themselves and their children.
The support from ZENZ has made it possible to make a project that, through versatile solutions, tries to give the girls a better life – and they have succeeded.
From 2018 to 2019, 149 young prostitute girls have improved their living conditions because they have been educated and learned about alternative income opportunities.
The hairdressing profession gives new faith to life
20-year-old Sandra has been trained as a hairdresser. In the past, she typically slept with 5-6 men every day to earn her money.
“As soon as I made the money, I spent them on food, but also on expensive clothes. Now I've learned the value of saving. And I earn more on being a hairdresser than on selling my body to strangers,” she says.
Sandra is just one of the many successful stories of girls who have gained the skills to now take control of their own lives. And as an extra benefit, many of the girls says, that they now have more faith for themselves and their own worth.
- 15 girls and women have been given an apprenticeship, a mentor or teaching in how to open a business themselves.
- 67 women have learned how to manage their money and why it is a good idea to make savings.
Scissors from all over the North
The project that ZENZ supports is completely holistic. Of course, when teaching the hairdressing profession, scissors are also needed so the girls can learn the craft in practice.
ZENZ has therefore donated more than 200 scissors to the vulnerable girls and women in Kampala. And here the scissors mean nothing less than the difference between a miserable or dignified life.
While the women make money in their new jobs, they need not fear for their children being left home alone. In the first year of the project we have made sure that 163 children came to kindergarten. The kindergartens have hired professional staff who ensure the children's play and learning in a safe environment.
The project reaches out to the community
In addition to helping the young girls and women, the support from ZENZ has also affected the community around them. This means that about 30 police officers have been taught in girls and women's rights. And the officers have been advised to be supportive of women in the future.
In addition, 36 former and current prostitutes have been educated as role models. That means, that they have been taught the consequences of HIV and the importance of using protection. They have so far passed on this knowledge to almost 400 other young people in their local areas.
In order to influence at the highest level in Kampala, the project has allocated resources to strengthen various initiatives aimed at influencing political decisions. The agenda is that, at the political level, women's rights should be broadened, and prostitutes should be protected.
With the project in Kampala, ZENZ is supporting the UN's global goals below: