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EDITION OF THE GALAS. A FIRST OF ITS KIND
The weekend of 20-22 September was an eventful one for the “super woman” family; the Wizarts foundation staff, school staff and the students involved. Happening in both Gomba and Gulu districts, the Galas were a scene of education, excitement, talent, color and pride for all involved. Although most of our activities remained constant, we did this edition of the galas differently.
In light of the “International Day of the Girl Child” fast approaching, we thought it best to have the girls show us and everyone present what they understand the Super Woman Dreams project to be. From the project’s context and the issues they record in the studio sessions like; Gender Based Violence (GBV), Gender Inequality, Child Labor, Rape, lack of education and living in a society that looks down upon women. All presentations during the galas were therefore presented by our super women.
Super women are birthed from the project; Super Woman DREAM-IC being implemented to keep girls in school by reversing the dropout rate. This was identified as one of the ways to prevent new HIV infections among adolescent girls between the ages 15-24 years in both Gomba and Gulu districts. We do this by using a fun concept where 10 girls travel from their schools, accompanied by their Lead female teacher to Kampala, and they record and produce their own radio talk shows on issues that affect them. The gala therefore is the event at which the girls who played the best roles during radio production are rewarded. In Gomba and Gulu, this overview of the project was presented by Prossy Nanyonjo from Kasaka S.S and Patricia Atimango from Sacred Heart S.S respectively.
The gala in Gomba took place at Kasaka S.S with five other schools in attendance. Schools present were Bukandula Mixed Secondary School, St. Leonards Maddu Secondary school, Kyayi Seed Secondary , Mpenja Secondary School and Kisozi Seed SS.The gala was well attended by parents, teachers, community leaders and students. Depicting situations and hardships in life, the girls, accompanied by fellow male students, presented educational dramas and speeches. Probably the most profound drama in Gomba was by Kasaka S.S students depicting the benefits of educating a girl child. Despite community members and her four brothers constantly filling her father’s ear about how worthless it is to educate “her kind” (girls), he educated her regardless. She later graduates, comes back home and becomes the community lawyer helping them.
The Executive Director who shared the current report of the project that day said, “In the first year of implementing this project in Gomba and Gulu, teenage pregnancies have dropped from 91 to 11!” A piece of information quite appreciated by mostly parents and teachers present. Guest of honor and also Woman MP of Gomba; Hon. Nayebale Sylvia as a great inspiration to the girls. Keeping her words simple and straight to the point, she reminded the girls that despite her very clean cut desirable outlook, she had been born, educated and raised in Gomba as they currently are but studied hard and got where she is now. Her message was simple; anyone can go where they want to go and be who they want to be despite where they come from and what they’re limitations “appear” to be. They just need to focus greatly on their education.
In both districts, both the super woman and best school titles were won by the same school. Making this our first occurrence of its kind ever in the history of Super Woman galas. Additionally, both these schools are new to the project as Mpenja S.S and Sacred Heart S.S joined in June 2018. Awards that were not a surprise to the Wizarts Foundation team as both schools worked hard in and out of the studio and brought forth great productions. Both gala highlights were consistently uploaded on both our Facebook and Twitter pages; @WizartsFoundation and @Wiz_Foundation respectively with the hashtag #SuperWomanGalaAwards. To see more on these award galas, do follow the pages shared and follow the conversation.
Gulu’s gala, held at Gulu Secondary School as to be expected, was filled with pulse pumping energy and color. Our secondgala indoors, we were pleased to note skills from some super women who did a good job decorating the hall with ribbons carefully assembled together. Overall, there was an energy of expectancy that was quite exciting.
Patricia Atimango, who shared with guests present the project’s overview, when speaking on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment expressed her deepest despair with her society. Among many, she communicated the view of girls as sex symbols and the act of leaving them to mind the house chores as the beginning of all “girl child” problems. While this is happening to her and every girl around her, it is hard not to miss the boys who are always ahead because the boys are always first priority when it comes to education and have no business helping with the house chores which are always a load for the girls before and after school. “I “hate” being looked at as a sex object when I’m walking anywhere in my community,” Patricia vehemently expressed during her presentation.
Addressing students, Guest of Honor Dan Kidega gave students present a reality check related to HIV/AIDS and success. Putting it simply, he reminded them that dead people do not succeed or win. “So be alive!” he said. Dan Kidega who is a Gulu born and raised son later went on to become the Speaker of East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and Member of Parliament for Youth Northern Uganda said he only achieved this through discipline. Without discipline, he believes one is as good as dead! He ended his speech by driving the point home with, “discipline is the software to success.”
During the Gulu gala, is also where school-girl-going issues were highlighted very well. The question is always posed as to why girls lucky enough to go to school end up dropping out with either pregnancies or HIV/AIDS. Through a drama performed by new comers; Sacred Heart S.S, we got to learn that the timely appearance of a “financial” life saver at a most desperate time for school and personal provisions like: books, shoes, pocket money and sanitary towels/pads in exchange for unprotected sex does indeed bring about these consequences and much more. They communicated “keep girls in school” excellently. It is a step in the right direction to take girls to school but it is even a greater step to ensure we do the necessary work like providing for their school and personal needs to “keep” them there.
We will be having more galas in November. Stay with us on all platforms including here on our website to stay informed. Until then, “keep girls in school.”