Through the child-centered, Community Development program (CCCD) Share an Opportunity Uganda with support from Help a Child Netherlands has empowered adolescents through youth clubs with income-generating skills to improve their livelihoods.
18-year-old Lucky Gracious is one of such adolescents. A pupil from Achangali Primary School in Abim District says that being part of the youth clubs has enabled her to continue with her studies even after the challenges that came as a result of the 2-year long lockdown in Uganda
“My friends got pregnant but I didn’t because I joined Share an Opportunity Uganda’s Adolescent group called Achangali Youth group where we were taught a number of things. We also got information about Sexual reproductive health. I also learnt how to make reusable sanitary pads.” She said.
Lucky narrates that before the lockdown, she used to miss school because pupils would laugh at her blood-stained uniform during her menstruations due to lack of money to buy pads.
“Pupils at school used to laugh at me during my menstruation period since I had very few pads to use which forced me to miss school during those days,” Lucy said
However, when she joined SAO Uganda’s youth group, she was taught how to make pads, built her confidence, taught the dangers of engaging in sex before marriage and was encouraged to stay in school.
“From the group I learnt how to make pads, I am more confident now and I know how to stay away from boys because I want to stay in school,” Gracious said.
With a bright smile on her face, while showing me her reusable sanitary pads, Gracious attested that her life has improved ever since she started selling and teaching her friends how to make pads because she is now earning money.