Prince Wako foundation, Our Commitment.
Compiled by: Frederick H
Usually, there are factors in life that keep pointing us towards a direction. Individually, as we grow up, our desire for success and happiness increases. Communally, we wish to identify with a peaceful and successful community. How often do circumstances around us support our fight for success? How often do we get the desired resources to reach our goals? How often do we support others to achieve their goals if we are in positions to do so? Let us not forget the fact that every human being sets goals, most especially the young. Regardless of background, sex and culture, humans strive to achieve their goals in one way or another. In a world where we gather information every day, it is important for us to go out there and do something constructive, based on what our senses have gathered. Just to be clear, different factors or experiences point us towards a certain direction, in this sense, we at Prince Wako foundation share a common commitment – Creating social impact through empowering the girl child in rural communities. We dedicate our time thinking up ways of having maximum positive impact on selected communities. We believe, this impact will with time be felt in the rest of the world. Our journey started with a major focus on the girl child. Think of an environment with minimized obstacles to every girl child, in every remote community in East Africa, what kind of impact would this have on the social progress of those communities? Some of us have grown up in societies with children from underprivileged and vulnerable groups – children of HIV/AIDS parents, poor and orphans, rejected by societies because of their disabilities or syndromes – so by providing rehabilitation, education and healthcare, transformation into responsible citizens will be achieved. Our focus is on creating impact in societies where we set our projects. We also understand that people help us in all our projects because they believe that through us, they can make a difference in the world. In all our endeavors, we remain humble and do all that we must do. For us, all we do is a cause and not mere charity. At this point, I would love to thank all the people who have trusted us with their hard-earned money, those who have spent valuable time to make sure the organization’s efforts of reaching the girl child in need, bear fruit. With ears on the ground, the following issues stood out in the lives of most young girls in east Africa.
Our interactions with different beneficiaries in Uganda have made us fully aware of the devastating impact of the absence of reliable health centers in some remote rural areas in East Africa. In any case if some village health centers are available, they are lacking medical facilities and well-trained personnel. In other cases, families cannot afford to buy drugs prescribed by the medical practitioners. With most of the young population being female, it is only self-explanatory that the higher number of young girls compete for these scarce services that are in real sense inadequate. There is one classic case of one of our 9-year-old beneficiary (Nahiya) in Mafubira, Jinja-Uganda. She has a passion for school and treks two kilometers to and from school every day. She has grappled with a recurring eye problem that gives her unimaginable headache, distracting her school time. All this happens under circumstances where her
widowed mother who earns her living by randomly providing manual labor, does not have resources to enable the young girl attain proper medical attention. This 9-year-old has had to cope with treatment using local herbs that have provided no cure at all. Ideally if this beneficiary gets proper medication, she will have a great deal of comfort at school. Secondly the reliance on seasonal wells in some villages or reliance on one borehole in a big village has led to difficulties in access to clean and safe water. Seasonal wells have been found to be common in the pastoral areas of northern Tanzania, Turkana region in northern Kenya and Karamoja region in Northeastern Uganda. I will tell you one reality of Kaliro district, a place that has been the subject of our research on water, the water crisis here is indeed a reality. Note that Kaliro is not part of the areas mentioned above. When you drive to remote areas in Kaliro district-Uganda, you will find girls rushing to wells to fetch water. At the wells, they will compete with cows and goats to get water. This means that the water fetched is likely to be contaminated. Faced with natural challenges of menstrual periods, sanitation and access to water is a must to most girls both in school and at home, but scarcity curtails their freedom to express themselves appropriately in the various communities. Thirdly there are limited educational opportunities for girls in many rural areas. In the Turkana region of Kenya, Parents prioritise the education of their sons as opposed to girls. Girls are taught to be wives and care givers in most homes. The stinking poverty levels in rural areas also push parents towards choosing who should stay in school and who should stay at home and do home chores – in most cases, girls fall victims. All the above factors have contributed greatly to the cases of child marriages in the region.
Moving on, in our endeavors, we seek to start with communities in which we have done proper research and identified a dire need. We believe that any impact we create, will have effect on the larger society with every passing day. Currently, we are running girl-child projects at St. Andrews Primary School in Jinja-Uganda, selected schools in Masaka-Uganda and refugee camps in Kenya. In every project, the passion of our founder Prince Wako Joshua has seen different teams work tirelessly to implement solution-based ideas. Primarily his passion can be best described verbatim;
“I strongly believe that every child deserves access to proper education, and that does not exclude the girl child. I am committed to seeing young girls from less privileged families access free and quality education with minimized obstacles. I believe this will give them a real sense of dignity. No girl should be married off early, no girl deserves to be kept out of school because they cannot access clean and safe water and no girl should stay out of school because they have no pads.”
With this, we have specific areas of focus, i.e. seeing to it that there is access to decent education, access to necessities and access to rehabilitation and counseling services. At the back of our mind, there is a mission centered around sustainable empowerment of the girl
child. On top of managing tensions in social practices in different communities and daily family activities which are likely to encourage early marriages, we are here to make sure that our efforts are meaningful and progressive. As we share experiences of different projects, we seek to create an emphasis on the need to be part of community changing projects in developing countries. These projects could be in educating a child, providing proper sanitation facilities and health amenities. We want you to be part of our discourses and projects on girl child empowerment, this to us is a process through which we arrive at solutions that are reliable and effective to further our goals.
We represent the case of a Non-profit organization seeking to promote a virtuous international agenda, with respect to national values and mission to provide solutions, our focus is the girl child. Having taken a solution centered approach, we are able to focus on the processes. Our journey has been filled with a myriad of lessons and accomplishments, but it Is a race that we have started and know will run till the end. In a span of two-years, considerable progress has been made by availing essential needs to selected girls, supporting their stay in school and counselling refugees in Kenya. We are striving to see to it that circumstances that force girls to flee schools, homes are dealt with. We know that girls are a driving force in the creation of a healthy and wealthy society, but this notion must be fed by the right strategies and involvement. Prince Wako opines, “education and water should be free, of good quality and accessible to everyone one. Being based in Norway a country headed by a woman makes me deeply think about how much girls can turn into strong nation protectors. Girls who develop into women are very vital in nation building, from health to education and planning sectors. With low literacy levels among girls/Women, a nation is doomed to fail.” We therefore, look forward to initiating early girl child development programs in selected communities to equip them with productive skills that are competitive in this era. Setting up different projects in poor neighborhoods will create awareness of our cause and in this way, impact will grow from house hold to household, community to community. We also look forward to serving at-risk youth, most especially the young girls from low income families, by giving them a stake in the skill world to enable self-development.
As we focus on the positive agendas of our cause, we live with the reality that operating the desired projects is dependent upon donations. Individual and group donations of any size are greatly appreciated. Your genuine contribution does surely make a difference. All girls that we helping are handicapped in one way or another and if given proper resources and guidance, they have great potential to develop their societies and countries in the long run. So, any donation will make a real-life difference in reducing a struggling family’s daily hardships.