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My voyage to WorldPulse

During the recent SHIP training of SHEs in Rukungiri

I have always been confronted with a number of dreadful situations around me. …a girl is defiled, made pregnant by a relative, a wife is hacked to death by a husband, a girl is married off by her parents to save a piece of land due to a debt, a widow is sent out of her matrimonial home after her husband’s death…These women and girls have no power, no control, no say on their lives. This gave me a strong sensation that if nobody is doing much, then I should do something to make a difference in one girl’s or woman’s life!!!

Indeed, the turning point was when I attended training in Israel on Sexual Health and HIV prevention for adolescents in 2007. I was excited that this training would lead me to a cause I was determined to persue. The Sexual Health Improvement Project (SHIP) was then conceived during the training. We developed a proposal on how to make use of the skills we had acquired to make a contribution to addressing the sexual health challenges of young people in Uganda.

The voyage of SHIP then began with one step (‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’- Chinese proverb). We began working with young people in our neighborhoods, in church and rural homes whenever we had sometime. It was obvious that the young people enjoyed and appreciated the times spent with then conducting sexual health education sessions with them. However, we found that we could not juggle between SHIP and office duties thus rendering our efforts less effective in achieving SHIP goal. It was at this point that we thought of a more effective and sustainable approach to reaching more young people- we trained Sexual Health educators within the communities. This is the root of the passion with which the SHIP team is steering this project.

I had access to the internet, I was yearning to read more on women issues especially young people; I also wanted to discuss, share and understand what goes on in other parts of the world. I vividly remember in 2010 punching in the Google search engine (‘women empowerment discussion forum’). In my heart I exclaimed, ahhaa, I got it!!- www.worldpulse.com - straight away in just one pulse, I was able to find so many resources and later connected with women across the globe , to date I have exchanged ideas in this forum and indeed changed lives.

I now recall that I had on several occasions tried to raise the voices of the voiceless in the local newspapers, but was always disappointed when my story could not be published, may be because of the stringent criteria for having one’s story published in it. I am excited because I have found comfort, a family in world pulse, who is ready to listen, to share, to guide me in my voyage in achieving the my dream. My participation in VOF will enable many more voices of the voiceless to be heard and lives changed.

Comments

Stella Paul's picture

Best wishes!

Congrats dear on finding world pulse forum and all of us who will be your friends all through your future. And best wishes for your future course of action,as well as for VOF!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

ikirimat's picture

Good encouragement

Thank you Stella for your appreciation. Indeed together we can make a difference in the women folk. Lets keep together and work together for a better world.

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."


Maria_T's picture

I enjoyed your piece and

I enjoyed your piece and reading about the work you have done. Very inspiring and passionate! I definitely echo Stella's comment-all the best to you!

gaurav.nakhare's picture

Dear Grace, Congratulations

Dear Grace,

Congratulations on your article! I was very moved to read about the situations facing women, and was impressed by your use of proverbs and the pun on SHIP. I feel that you have a very good understanding of the assignment, and I am eager to read more of your inspiring stories!

Gaurav Nakhare
WP Listener

Melanie DuChateau's picture

Love your program!

I love your SHIP program! Grassroots activities are where true change is made and I congratulate you!

I have a friend in Seeta who helps young women from outlaying villages who are raped or defiled. Because the police often will not help the women and girls who wish to file complaints, he goes with them to the police station, forces police to take a report, and then walks her through the court proceedings. He is a counselor by trade so he also does counseling both for the woman and for her family. If ever you need him, let me know and I'll put you in touch. He also speaks at schools. I think he is currently in Busia for the month but is generally in the Mukono/Seeta/Kampala areas.

Melanie DuChateau

ikirimat's picture

I am Glad to connect

I definitely will love to if you can put me in contact with this wonderful friend. Together, we can make a difference in someone's life

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."


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