UGANDA – Reach a Hand Newsletter 

“Reach a Hand celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28 May 2024. The event focused on addressing menstrual health challenges and empowering young girls with knowledge and resources. Students from multiple schools participated, and the local women’s leader, Mama Irene, inaugurated the event, highlighting the importance of menstrual hygiene. The event offered health services, including immunization and HIV testing. Benson Muhindo of RAHU dispelled menstrual myths, while ASP Alex Kyankaga addressed domestic violence and early marriage issues. Ruth Nasseje from Kiira Motors and Ritah Kabasomi from Reproductive Health Uganda emphasized the need for accurate reproductive health information and destigmatizing menstruation. The Kyetume Community-Based Health Care Programme encouraged open discussions on menstruation. The event concluded with a presentation by Halima from Jinja Tree Primary School and the distribution of reusable pads by SafePad Uganda, providing a sustainable solution for menstrual hygiene.”

“The second Billi Now Now! (BNN) Youth Summit, launched on 4th June 2024 at MoTIV Bugolobi, brings together young leaders from diverse backgrounds across Africa under the theme “Brave and Coordinated Youth Action in Advancing Agenda 2063.” Organised by Reach A Hand Uganda in collaboration with Planned Parenthood Global, the summit serves as a platform to equip delegates with the necessary tools to contribute effectively to the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Participants from countries such as Kenya, South Sudan, Peru, Ethiopia, Benin, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Uganda, and Rwanda came together to drive real change through discussions on critical issues like sexual and mental health intersections and the advocacy for comprehensive health initiatives.”

“On May 22nd, the Swedish SRHR Technical team reprsented by Dr Dorcus Kiwanuka visited Kasangati High School as part of the UNESCO-supported “Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future” (O3) programme, funded by SIDA and implemented in Uganda since 2018. Reach A Hand Uganda, a key partner in this initiative, has engaged young people through activities like the “Kyaddala: It’s Real” drama series to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, early and unintended pregnancy, child marriage, and gender-based violence. The O3 Plus programme, targeting higher education institutions across eight African countries, aims to ensure positive health, education, and gender equality outcomes for young people. The visit provided an engaging platform for students to interact with the technical team, discussing important issues such as relationships and mental health, underscoring the need for ongoing support and education.”

“We successfully hosted the Ikon Awards Filmmakers Fellowship screening and awarding ceremony on May 24th at NBS Media Hub, celebrating the accomplishments of 10 young filmmakers. These talented young people created impactful short films addressing critical challenges faced by young people, including mental health, unsafe abortions, HIV/AIDS, restrictive cultural and religious norms, teenage pregnancies, and sexual abuse. The winning film, “Teen Me” by Ndagire Pauline, poignantly highlights the often-overlooked issue of sexual abuse within the home, serving as a powerful reminder that young people’s first experiences of sexual abuse frequently occur at the hands of family members or close acquaintances. This event underscores our commitment to empowering young voices and advocating for change through the art of filmmaking….” and much more!