Whilst global attention has turned to improving the position of girls and women in recent years, a cursory glance at current social indicators paints an alarming picture. Women make up approximately 70 percent of the world’s poor. Two-thirds of people unable to read and write are female. More than 11.4 million girls and women are in forced labour. One in three girls and women experience physical and sexual violence. Approximately 15 million girls marry before the age of 18 each year – the equivalent of one every 2 seconds. This deep-rooted discrimination creates a bleak outlook for girls and women, who continue to need support to overcome multiple barriers to their safety and well-being. For many, it is often those closest to them who work against their interests.
We work, with our ministry partnerships and their local communities, to not only provide education and health but to help provide girls and women with important livelihood opportunities that enable them to play a role in freeing their communities from poverty. There is compelling evidence that when women are healthy and educated, their families will be too. And when women earn money, they invest it in the health and education of their children and families, helping to end the cycle of poverty.
We believe loving like Jesus means transforming the lives of neglected and abused girls and women.
Wakisa Ministries runs a pregnancy crisis centre, which offers temporary shelter and pre- and post-natal care to young girls with unplanned pregnancies. The girls are often victims of sexual abuse from their families or neighbours and subsequently abandoned by their families. The girls are also equipped with vocational skills such as candle making, cookery, tailoring, urban agriculture and handicrafts. Wakisa also provides family counselling to help the girls reconcile and reintegrate with their families.
Widows experience extreme hardship in Uganda, being subjected not only to the loss of their husband, but also the frequent consequential loss of income. They face being forced off their land, which is often their source of livelihood. Through this project, widows are mobilised and trained to jointly cultivate fields. They are provided with seeds for beans and maize, and are linked with local organisations to help them improve their business management skills and improve their crops.
Women face gender inequality in India, and are frequently disadvantaged in finding employment and being able to earn a living for their families. Our partner Bangalore City Mission provides women with vocational skills, empowering women. Training is provides in the areas of sewing, business administration, numeracy and literacy, and office administration.
Our partner Bangalore City Mission runs the Women and Child Care Centre near quarry areas. The project helps little children to receive early childhood education, building first generation learners, reducing the chances of the children being drawn into child labour. Through this project, 65 children of quarry workers can learn and eat at the centre.