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NEWS

December 4, 2020

FIGHTING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN UGANDA THANKS TO USAID'S BETTER OUTCOMES PROJECT

During the 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (November 25-December 10), AVSI celebrates the courage of women like Alice, who worked with her husband to put an end to the violence in their home and built a brighter future for her family

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Alice’s favorite time of the day is sunset. She and her husband wait for their six children to come back from school. They sit together around a cup of tea and talk about their day. But Alice’s routine was not always so pleasant. Before joining USAID’s Better Outcomes project, returning home at sunset was a nightmare. Everything she earned would be spent on alcohol by Robinson, her husband, leaving nothing to buy food for their children. When she tried to talk with Robinson, he would inevitably raise his hand at her.

“"It was draining," remembers Alice. "I couldn't bear seeing my children starving."

Worried, Alice returned to her village to look for work and provide for her family’s needs. Although she was afraid of leaving the children with her husband, Alice succeeded and made money after a series of community jobs and returned home to Oget village with a possibility to invest.

Unfortunately, her four-year-old son fell ill and had to have an operation at Kitgum Hospital, eight kilometers away from home. Looking after the child at the hospital, Alice learned about AVSI. From then on, things started to get better. 

With the money Alice had earned, she joined a savings group and received financial skills training from AVSI. Not only was she able to save securely, but Alice also met friends who listened and gave advice.

Convinced that Robinson was ready to accept support, the couple received counseling from a social worker every week. The social worker Valentino traveled by bike to ensure the couple had psychosocial sessions and put an end to the domestic violence. 

Alice now smiles at life again. She gets up by 6 am every morning with Robinson, and together they take care of the harvest. Alice’s small income has grown over time. The sesame and cotton fields are bearing fruit and allow the six children to go to school. The couple also invested part of the income in cows and goats.

Alice has always been a determined woman. Today, more than ever, she feels invincible with a supportive and changed husband. She wants to send their children to private school, increase their animal stock, and continue to participate in her community-savings group – the group of friends who changed her life for the better.

better outcomes

Funded by USAID, the five-year program Better Outcomes (April 2015 – March 2020) improved the wellbeing of 367,000 children and youth orphaned and vulnerable because of HIV and other adversities in Eastern and Northern Uganda. World Education/Bantwana led a consortium which included international partners like AVSI, Mercy Corps, and mothers2mothers as well as national partners Youth Alive, UWESO, THETA, and FOC-REV.

Activities included:

– ECONOMIC STRENGTHENING: TRAININGS IN HOW TO SAVE AND INVEST MONEY

– YOUTH PROGRAMMING: EDUCATION AND RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR THE YOUTH

– EARLY CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND PARENTING: TRAININGS ON HOW TO BE RESPONSIBLE PARENTS, ESPECIALLY DURING THE FIRST FIVE YEARS OF LIFE

– SYSTEM STRENGTHENING: COORDINATION WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS ON DATA COLLECTION AND PLANNING

– CASE MANAGEMENT: SOCIAL WORKERS VISITING FAMILIES AND MAKING REFERRALS FOR CRITICAL SERVICES