We are partnering with Rhythm of Life (ROL) in Kampala, Uganda, to address the needs of mothers who are sex workers and their children. Our partnership started in November 2015 when ROL assisted us to convene focus group meetings as part of a global project to hear from sex workers about their situations and that of their children. After listening to the unmet needs of the sex workers and their children, we decided to work together to develop programs and services for these families.
After securing a donation from the Irish charity Trócaire in 2016, ROL started convening a support group for the mothers where they learn and engage in various health topics such as: self-esteem and body image, STIs and HIV, domestic violence and healthy relationships, financial planning and responsibility. The group offers the women a chance to come together create a supportive and welcoming community and to learn concrete skills. Additionally, ROL has initiated a referral card system to help the women access non-biased healthcare that corresponds to their needs.
In August 2016, our new Programming and Outreach Advisor, Carrie Burgess, began working with ROL to develop additional resources for the support group. Carrie works closely with the ROL founder, Harriet Kamashanyu Tumusiime, to develop relevant and engaging programming material for each support group session. The activities are focused on participant interaction and aim to confer life-skills and knowledge to the women in accessible ways.
ROL’s efforts have led to a steady increase of the number of both mothers and their children who attend the support group. The women are encouraged to share their feedback and request specific topics that they would like to learn more about.
We are now in the process of seeking additional funding to continue the support groups. In addition, Brian will return to Kampala in 2017 work with ROL on programs specifically for the children as soon as we can raise the funds. If you are interested in contributing to this effort, please contact Brian.