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Unsung Heroes

Amaru the Songbird from Arua will blow you away

amaru This songbird from Arua will make your heart skip a beat. Her music is electric. Meet Amaru an amazing Ugandan singer. She has been living in New York City where she studied Acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and has been pursuing a Bachelor of Sciences in Dramatic Arts, Film and Television at St. John’s University in Queens, New York

Who is Amaru

I would safely sum Amaru up as a Passionate, African, Singer, Songwriter, Actress, Filmmaker, Dreamer, and Lover who desires to leave everything she ever encounters  better than she found it! She desires to spread  Love everywhere she goes.

When did you start singing?

I was born into a very musical family and had multiple opportunities to sing- right from Children’s fellowships hosted at our family house and children’s conferences that my dad played music at. Both my parents sang to me as a child and my father played almost every instrument I could think of, so naturally he encouraged me to sing. In fact, for a while I travelled with my dad and sang in his band on multiple ministry trips in schools, conferences and churches. Music became a part of my life so early and I recall always loving to sing.

Your first song  Stay’, you sounded like you were singing from your personal experience. What inspired you to write it?

The story behind Stay is actually a special one because I never intended for it to be my debut single when I wrote it. I initially wrote and recorded it as a personal message, much like someone would write a letter to another, but when it was finished, based on feedback I was getting, I realized that I was finally ready to start sharing my music. Around that time, I’d recently started writing songs again and wasn’t yet sure if it was time to start sharing, but Stay opened that door.

Let’s talk about your unique type of music. What do you call your style?

My sound is very eclectic and doesn’t fit perfectly into any music genres so I call my style of music “Soul-Truth.” This is really to remind myself of the sound I would like to maintain- I want to stay truthful and soulful as I keep writing and singing. As far as traditional genres go however, my sound tends to fall into the Acoustic-Soul world,or Pop-Soul like one of my friends likes to call it; and as I keep writing, I keep creating new fusions especially with the more recent music I’ve been working on, so as we go along, the labels might evolve. amaru-1 It looks like you spend a lot of time writing your music. What message do you think our music conveys?

My music tends to reflect my feelings about different experiences, and my philosophies on life. For the most part, I write a lot of love-related songs because I draw a lot of inspiration from the quest for, and the experience of love. Currently, my music shares pieces of my journey and the lessons I’m learning along the way. Hopefully my audience can share my experiences and even learn from my mistakes. Ultimately, I desire that music carries messages of hope and love to all the people who encounter it. I really hope I can change the world with my music.

How long does it take you to write a hit song?

It really varies. I’m realizing that I work well with deadlines as far as song-writing is concerned, but when left to an organic process, the length of time it takes me to write a song depends on how inspired I feel when working on the song. When really inspired, I can finish a song even in a couple of hours, however some songs take weeks, months and a few have even taken years.  I tend to write songs based on the way I am feeling, so when the feeling abounds, inspiration flows and writing is really easy. Also, having access to a musical instrument speeds up the process for me, and I reckon if I had the luxury of jamming with a band more often, I might write even more songs a lot quicker.

Home or US, where is your biggest fan base?

That’s a really tough one to answer since I haven’t been wholly pursuing a career in music in either location. I’ve mostly been doing music part-time in both countries and kind of focusing mainly on finishing my studies. That said, it seems pretty evenly spread to me. However, I desire to build a bigger following in Uganda and Africa considering that it is the audience I care most about and also because I would like to settle in Africa.

Looking back from where you started and where you are now, are you there yet?

I definitely am beyond where I ever dreamed I would be, but as I reach my  dreams, I develop much higher ambitions. God has been so faithful as to exceed my expectations and grant me dreams beyond my imaginations, so now I just keep dreaming bigger. So, looking at the dreams I currently have, I have barely scratched the surface of where I want to be. And that is really exciting!

When you are playing your guitar, it looks like you have an attachment to it. What is music to you?

Music is my best friend- we’ve been together for as long as I can remember. And because of the musical history I share with my family, the guitar for me, is so much more than a musical instrument. Multiple members of my family have played the guitar over the years, and so its come to serve in my life as a reminder of my heritage. The guitar for me is a symbol of love and family, and a reminder to live a life of worship. So when I hold my guitar, in many ways it feels like I am carrying my family with me. And that is probably why I seem to have a strong attachment to guitar in my music.

You have been silent for over five months now. What can your lovers be expecting any time soon?

I decided to prioritize my education especially since I was so close to completing my studies, so I’ve been focusing more on school the past couple of months so I can return home. It’s been really important to me that I finish school since I recognize the value of higher education. There’s a misconception that musicians can just drop-out of school, and I strongly disagree with that. I think completing one’s education really enhances what one has to offer, regardless of the field, an especially within the Arts. That said, because music is a huge part of my life, inevitably I’ve been writing  music on the side as well as singing with the Hillsong Church Choir in New York. Now that I have finished with school, I am really excited to share with all of you all the music I’ve been working on behind the scenes. I think it’s been nice to have a break to grow and nurture my sound even more. Also I’ve had a chance to do some soul-searching and reconnecting with values that I will need for where I am going.  So hold on tight and look forward to some new music real soon!

Who is that one person who has been at the forefront of your success as a  musician?

Because I’ve had a lot of support, from my family, friends and my Music  Management, this is a really tough one to answer.. I’d really like to point them all out because they have been key to my success, but since you need me  to pick one person, I’ll have to take a moment to honor my brother. He has listened to literally every single song that I’ve written and he is one person I can absolutely count on for honest criticism. Because we are the same age, and have shared pretty much the same history, I can count on him to understand me best. I send him everything I write before I forward it to anyone else and I usually trust his opinion since he understands my style and knows me better than most people. Also because he has supported me right from the start, I can count on his opinion and completely trust his intentions towards me.

What has been your best moment so far as a songbird?

My best moment was probably the first time I heard my debut single “Stay” play on radio in Uganda for the very first time. I remember waking up early that morning to hear the breakfast show hosts at Magic 100 debut my song and say really lovely things about it. It felt like a dream! I stood in my parent’s bedroom and listened in such a blissful trance, much like a child taking in their very first ice-cream experience. It was truly magical and I’ll cherish that moment forever.

Any worst moments?

There are no specific moments that I can point to as my worst in my career journey so far, but I can definitely think of some moments when I have doubted my dreams and questioned what I have to offer as a musician. And those have been my lowest moments. Music is such a big part of my life that  for me to question whether or not I should be doing it takes a huge toll on me. Thankfully connecting deeper with God has given me a new found confidence and sense of purpose in my gifts.

Which famous musician(s) do you admire? And why?

There are so many great musicians that I admire for various reasons but I’ll highlight two for now: I have a lot of admiration for the Hillsong United and Third Day. This is for many reasons including how hard and skillfully they work to create cutting edge and beautiful music; as well as how powerful their music is. I think there’s nothing more amazing than worship music that ushers people into encountering the presence of a Supernatural God. I am fascinated by music that stirs the presence of Holy Spirit and literally frees people from bondages and gives them encounter with a Sovereign and Supernatural God. Listening to both their music has been changing my life and I am finding such freedom and fulfillment in praising and worshipping a Being that actually deserves it. I’ve had the privilege of experiencing God’s presence and finding real peace and strength through rough seasons while listening to some of their songs, and I think there’s nothing greater than creating music that is so much bigger than just feel-good music: music that can actually bring hope to people. I desire to do that too- to alter lives for the better! Another thing about both bands is in spite of the awards they hold, the genuineness and humility of their members is incredible. I’ve had the honor of meeting both band leaders and can testify that there’s probably no better illustration of true great people, than such influential and gifted yet extremely down-to-earth, love-filled and servant-hearted musicians who strive to walk their talk.

How do you balance music with other obligations like family, friends and fans?

Because my music is very precious to me, I tend to want to put everything else second to it, so this has been a struggle for me to find a balance. However,  over this past season of my life I’ve been finding a new balance. I think what’s been helping me is realizing what my greatest treasures are, and becoming more aware of the immeasurable value of family and friends. Realistically speaking, fans come and go, and the pain of losing them might be great, but my family and friends have been there from the start and I can’t imagine surviving the grief of losing them for something so temporary, so I realize that I need to put them first. We all come out of a family of some kind, and in spite of our family’s imperfections, there is tremendous value on family. Without my family, I wouldn’t exist to even have this career to begin with so it rages against wisdom to think that I should pick my career over them. Thankfully I don’t have to choose, since my family actually supports my career ambitions and in any case only guides me in ways they believe will advance my career. That said, someone once said to me that if anyone was playing my music it was because they are my friend, so I honestly look at my fans as an extension of my family and friends so it all works out in the end. However if the opportunity ever does present itself, I would like to be able to choose to honor my family and friends over anything else.

What challenges do you face as a musician based in New York?

The major challenges for me have been being a full-time student with no income, and being so far away from Uganda since my main desire has been to build a music career based in my home country. Other than that, the city has been incredible- There’s just SO much to learn and draw inspiration from that I am really grateful for the opportunity I’ve had.

Where do you see yourself and your beautiful music five years from now?

Well that is quite a sight to behold! Five years from now, God-willing, I see myself dominating the African music and film industry, whilst mentoring Africa and what I believe will be the world’s next big musicians. I really believe that African music is not just the future, but is actually NOW, and we need to put our best foot forward and get in position to run the game. So in five years, I would like to be a stabilized household name working with peer and newer acts not only to alter the image of Africa to the world as well as fellow Africans, but also to bring positive change to our planet.

Ugandan  music has always been criticized for not making it to the international scene for lack of creativity. What do you think is the cause of this?

I’ve been trying to figure this out for some time now, especially because I’m on the scene now too. (I think its easy to criticize something from a distance but once you step into it, you’re able to take ownership of flaws and understand them better.) One thing that I’m becoming more aware of is that our greatest weakness mainly lies in our songwriting. We have outstanding instrumentalist and vocalists but for the most part, we seem to fail when it comes to competitive song-writing.   Perhaps this can be blamed on how we tend to recycle the same sounds over and over again. It seems that when we hear something that works, we often almost simply “copy and paste” those ideas without making any major creative changes to melodies and structure. So that breeds the lack of originality that we often get criticised for. There seem to be fewer cases of originality in our sound and that’s where I think we really fail. Being aware of this, I’m trying to be conscious of this as I work, and I see many other musicians breaking this mold by boldly stepping out with different sounds and I really like that. We have grown SO much as an industry and I am very grateful for those who have gone before me and raised the standards as well as paved the way for the Ugandan Music Industry  to aspire to  even greater heights.

Your hairstyle, it is rather remarkable. Any particular connection to it?

Thank you! My hairstyle is a means of my creative expression and serves as a reminder to me, to live boldly and not to be afraid to be different or stand out. I first had the idea to have multi-colored braids over 7 years ago and when I first did it then, a lot of people thought it was a terrible idea but then ended up liking it. Turns out it worked and I liked it too, so I started wearing my hair like that. I took a break from it when I moved to New York and was afraid to stand out, but a two years ago, I realized that I needed to gain my confidence  again so I brought the colors back. Now I get a lot of positive feedback and find that my hairstyle inspires others to be bold and embrace their creativity and uniqueness.

What advice could you give to a girl who wants to be a musician like you?

I would say that you need to trust what God has put inside of you.Find security in Him and know that you have something unique and precious to offer.  If He has given you a gift for making music, you need to embrace that and be confident in it. Don’t doubt what you have to offer, and don’t hide your light because you’re meant to shine it: Let your light shine bright so you can lead others to freedom! I also deeply desire, especially for  female musicians, that we  will rise up to defy the seeming norm that female musicians have to sell sex appeal in order to be successful in the music industry! So take care not to objectify yourself as you sell your music. I desire to show other aspiring female musicians that they can honor their bodies and still excel in the industry, but I’d like to invite other female musicians to join me in this. So I guess what I really want to say to any girl that wants to be like me is, set standards for yourself and have non-negotiable in your career. Remember that where there is a will there is a way so you don’t have to conform to the standards if they are lower than what you set for yourself.  Realize that as musicians, we have a lot of power to influence our cultures so let’s seek to influence it for the better. Also, make sure you have a great support system and keep your fuel tank full to sustain the fire in you! No man is an island, so surround yourself with dream-builders so you won’t back down even when the storms come. And please steward your gifts well, nurture your talents: practice, seek to learn more, watch and listen to those who have gone before you so you can accomplish even greater things. DON’T SEEK TO BE LIKE ME, SEEK TO BE BETTER THAN ME!!! The stars are only the beginning. Listen to God and let Him direct you. There’s no better person to seek guidance on how to use a product to its fullest potential than its manufacturer, so have God guide you and direct your path as you pursue your dreams if you want to soar. Follow His lead, and believe me, your mind will be blown!! He really is amazing, and the people He will bring your way will be more amazing than any contacts you could ever have gathered on your own. Work hard and smart; but stay humble, love and serve! Remember, there’s an indescribable peace that comes from knowing that God has got you, which drives away any sense of insecurity and jealousy. In knowing Him, you’ll realise that there’s room for all and you’ll actually desire the best for others and be freed to root for other. And that will give you such immeasurable  joy in your journey to the successful career you desire. I realize that’s a long essay haha but I really wanna share with you all the things I wish I was aware of sooner. I love you and wish you the best!!

Is there anything you want to share with our readers? Any last words?

Yes. THANK YOU!! Thank you sincerely for all your support and for following my music and career so far. It’s really just the beginning so for those who are encountering me for the first time, I look forward to having you join me on this journey. I strongly believe that great things lie ahead and we each have A LOT to offer our planet, so please connect with your purpose and let’s SHINE our light to the ends of the earth and leave this world a better place than we found it. Keep loving and dreaming and lets never stop serving one another!   Bjix6cfIEAAw2w1B9HT3XACcAAq_K5 And lastly, I’d like to leave you with a quote that inspires me: “To be the best in the world is competition, to be the best for the world is loving.” I hope we choose LOVE! Oceans of Love to all, Amaru

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. rapgun

    June 16, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    I like your story. its inspiring especially to a rapper like me from arua. am glad your representing the people of westnile. I wish I could get a link to your music

  2. Herman Clive Quotes.

    June 20, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Reblogged this on Herman Clive Quotes and commented:
    She has a great voice.

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Collective Good

He Grew Up in Bwaise Slum. Today, Kisirisa has Educated and Empowered Young People like Him

Muhammed most commonly known as Slum Ambassador, was born and raised in Bwaise, the most deprived and perhaps largest slum area in Kampala. At the tender age of 11, he found his first job as a tap water operator. He would also carry water and pick garbage from people’s homes. On some occasions he would sell metal scrap all in an attempt to get an education, put clothes on his back and get something to eat.

“I picked interest in Computers when I was 25 years and began to teach myself at various internet cafes. I focused on creating profiles for HIV orphans and trying to see if I could link them up with potential sponsors for fees and assistance.” Mohammed says

Later, in 2009, together with 3 other young people, he formed Action for Fundamental Change and Development (AFFCAD) a community based organization set out to transform Kampala’s poorest areas by empowering the young people, children and women through health, education and economic empowerment programs like vocational and entrepreneurship training.

A vocational training for youth underway at AFFCAD. (Photo by AFFCAD)

Since its establishment, AFFCAD’s primary focus was supporting orphans and vulnerable children and making awareness on health issues including HIV/AIDS awareness and adolescent sexual reproductive health. In June 2011 they established a community nursery and primary school called Excel Education Center that supports 200 children from Bwaise slums.

Todate, it has graduated 1,047 youth. This equates to a completion rate of 90%. Of those who have graduated 697 are female and 350 are male.

“AFFCAD’s Youth economic empowerment program provides the hands on skills that enable the disadvantaged youth in Kampala’s slums to transit from lives of crime and poverty to lives of productive occupation. “ He explains.

Through AFFCAD’s Bwaise Business and Vocational Institute, the targeted youth between 16-25 years participate in a 6 month vocational training program in applicable skills like Computer Graphics Design, Photography and Videography, Cookery and Bakery, Tailoring and Fashion design, Electronic installation, Hairdressing and Cosmetology, Decoration and Ushering among others.

Women during a graduation after completing the Women Business and Financial Access course (Photo by AFFCAD)

“As part of the program, the Youth are also equipped with entrepreneurial skills, financial literacy, soft and hard skills for career and professional development (How to Make it in the Contemporary Business World) and they Youth take on one month internships at the end of the training to expose them to working environments.” Muhammed explains.

In addition, the project also provides IT Training to the youth on how to strategically use ICT (including internet, social media, Web 2.0 and mobile technology) to market and sustain their business ventures.

Each year AFFCAD runs The Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge and Award, to support the business ideas developed by the youth in the program, a mentoring session and a scholarship to attend a 5-day entrepreneurship foundation course at the innovation entrepreneurship boot camp. Every Friday, AFFCAD invites successful youth and other leaders to motivate and inspire our youth.

Muhammad standing next to one of the entrances at AFFCAD. (Internet photo)

AFFCAD runs the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge and Award, 15 winners have received micro start up grants between $1500 to $2500 to develop their business ideas, a mentoring session, and a scholarship to attend a 5-day entrepreneurship foundation course at the innovation entrepreneurship Boot Camp.

In August 2017, Muhammad received the 2017 Young Achievers Award for Social Entrepreneurship in recognition for his work with AFFCAD.

Like this story or have something to share? Write to us: info@thisisuganda.org, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Unsung Heroes

Being HIV Positive, Diagnosed with Cancer & Tuberculosis Has not stopped this Superwoman From Looking After 150 Kids in Slums

“A strong woman doesn’t give up even though her heart may feel heavy. She courageously takes one more step, then another and then another.” –Anonymous

Stella Airoldi first met Susan laker in 2009 when she first came to Uganda while doing research about post war victims and witnesses.

“I visited her house, where she was living with her 3 teenage kids. Back then I was 24 years old and Susan 26 years, so just two years older than me.  But her kids were already 9,10 and 13 years old.” Stella says.

Because Susan got pregnant for the first time when she was only 13, her kids didn’t go to school and neither did she. A soldier was responsible for her first pregnancy while she was living in a military barracks which by then, was the only safe place for her to go to escape the insurgency caused by the Lords Resistance Army in Northern Uganda.

“Getting pregnant when I was 13 years old was so traumatizing. I lost my childhood life. I wasn’t able to go to school which made me lost my hope for living a good future. I hated my parents for forcing me in to early marriage, my growth was totally destroyed and I segregated myself from people because I felt inferior.”- Susan notes.

Susan with some of the beneficiaries of 22STARS. (Photo credit: Stella Airoldi)

When Susan was 15 years old, she conceived again but got a miscarriage when she received a message notifying her that her uncles, nieces, a brother and sister had been mutilated and killed by the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels.

“I was shocked and lost the pregnancy. After a few months, I conceived again and gave birth to a second child at the age of 16 and when the baby was 6 months, the father died and since I had nowhere to get financial help from, I was forced to  remarry another soldier from the barracks to get protection and when I was 19 I gave birth to the third child.” Susan says

In 2007, her husband was deployed to Somalia on a peacekeeping and never returned, a thing that left Susan very frustrated. It was shortly after that, that she found out that she was HIV positive, had cancer and Tuberculosis (TB). It was not until an organization called Reach Out Mbuya came to her rescue that she was able to start cancer chemotherapy and TB drugs for six months and now am on ARVs treatment for life.

She then fled with all her children to Kampala which were (and still remain) her main reason and motivation to keep going in life. Her kids were tested negative and she wanted them to go to school. She started making jewellery, which initially her kids would sell in the streets.

Susan and some of her children (Photo credit: Stella Airoldi)

“It was then my pastor introduced me to Stella. I was making paper beads jewellery and Stella decided to buy me jewellery on a yearly basis. At the end of 2012 when she came back to Uganda to see how I was doing, she was surprised to learn that I was going back to school by myself and I had improved.” Susan notes.

Susan has been able to buy land and built a bigger house for her family. She completed high school and did a couple of short courses to improve her skills and knowledge for example a  certificate in Clearing, Forwarding and Shipping management, Certificate in Electronics, Certificate in Counseling People Living with HIV/AIDS.

“At first, all my friends and family thought I was completely crazy starting with women who cannot read and write and I cannot even communicate with. So true, things didn’t go that smooth the first 2 years. So end of 2014 I came back to Kampala and since 2015 I am here myself 2 to 3 times a year and things improved a lot.”- Stella says.

Stella (left) and Susan during one of the jewellery making sessions (Photo credit: Stella Airoldi)

Susan is now managing the whole team of at 22STARS jewellery that comprises of over 20 women and supporting 150 children in slums. Thanks to recurring monthly donations, she (Susan) has been cooking in Acholi Quarter every Sunday since October 2016 ( so more than 14 months!) with the help of other 22STARS group members. The group started back then to cook for 50 kids and that is now 150. They get a hot meal with either fish or meat.

22STARS is a team of artisans made up by strong women living in the slums of Kampala and Jinja in Uganda making jewellery for a living. The platform is giving women in slum areas like Susan to sell their jewellery on the international market and earn a living, and in addition war running small social programs on the ground.

“Our choice for environmentally friendly products is a very conscious one. By using 100% recycled paper, the jewellery you wear does not only look good, but it also feels good. Our beads are hand made from paper and varnished with natural products.  This makes each peace uniquely different, lightweight and waterproof.” Stella says.

Some of the 22STARS women that make jewellery (Photo credit: Stella Airoldi)

22STARS also uses education and entrepreneurship to empower children and their families to rise above poverty by creating long-term sponsorships for children in Uganda, and also run several community development initiatives including a nutrition program, basic needs program, small business training and micro loans program and our holistic educational program with extra-curricular activities.

“Without the help of Susan this all would not have been possible. As she knows how it feels like to sit in the stone quarry with your kids, crashing stones all day, not being able to send them to school, she is pushing very hard to help all the families over there to send their kids to school. She is so amazing how she is managing everything. Susan is a true superstar and really the strongest woman I ever met.” Stella concludes.

Stella and Susan at the 22STARS office. (Photo credit: Stella Airoldi)

Like this story or have something to share? Write to us: info@thisisuganda.org, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Uganda Innovates

Athieno Mary Lucinda is changing girls’ lives one sanitary pad at a time

She stood up in class, her classmates laughed at her. The boys said that she had slaughtered a chicken. They made fun of her for a long time. She couldn’t afford sanitary towels, the anxiety of the monthly period coupled with the embarrassment she had faced which would have destroyed her self-esteem as a young girl instead stirred her resolve.

Meet Athieno Mary Lucinda a YALI fellow, the founder of Eco-Pads a social enterprise dedicated to the production and distribution of reusable pads and environmentally friendly to girls in Uganda.

“That experience kept me wondering what I would ever do to save a girl the embarrassment I had gone through. While at university, I went to volunteer with Kadama Widows Association where I am the Executive Director now and as I interacted with the girls, they had similar challenges. I then started saving part of my stipend to make the pads and that was my aha moment.” Lucinda says.

The sanitary pads are distributed to young women in rural Uganda. These Eco-pads are Menstrual Kits that are made from very high performance fabric and provide comfort and supper protection for a period up to 12 months.

“The Eco-pads project started in 2008 as a local thing trying to just help girls in the community. In 2014 we realized we can improve on quality and start selling for sustainability and we have been growing daily from just the local community to many parts of the country with over 20 full time  and 35 part time employees.”

“I am most proud of last year when we reached 50,000 girls with Eco-Pads, the feedback from the girls attending school daily is heart-filling. The involvement of parents and the whole community in the cause is great. We have reached over 75,000 community members on Menstruation being an issue and how they support. Mentored over 10,000 girls” Lucinda says.

There are challenges that are still to be overcome. Being a local product, Lucinda’s biggest challenge has been in marketing and getting the product to be known, convincing the clients that it is a good product since it is new. The very first money that they used was grant money that they used to buy equipment and set up and buy some few materials.

Despite the challenges, she has mentors that encourage her when things are going down hill. my “Atuki Turner the ED of Mifumi, Tracey the founder of glad rags U.S, Mary Mosinghi the ED of KwaAfrica. They remaind me that I need to remain a learner and humble in whatever I do.”

At the heart of this project is the desire by Eco pads that every girl child remains in school. Eco-pads give affordable sanitary pads for girls, because many miss out of school during their menstruation. They are competing against appalling statistics 80% of Girls in Uganda are absent from school during their periods. 70% of female students reported difficulty of attending class attentively due to menstrual related problems. 90% of the poor women and girls do not use (off-the-shelf) sanitary pads, but instead improvise with unsanitary materials. Prior to their first period only 51% of girls had knowledge of menstruation and its management

“We educate girls on MHM, conduct mentorship sessions and educate the parents and teachers on the need to support girl child. We shall continue to do something regardless of the tide. One sanitary pad at a time.” Lucinda says

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