Tendo Namata has been able to reach out to more than 250 people in Bwizi and Biguli subcounties through her Social Action Project, entitled ‘Increasing Community Capacity to fight Gender-Based Violence’.
Ms. Namata’s project has been instrumental in supporting communities to ascertain the key problems that they face in the fight against Gender-Based Violence. The local challenges identified include insufficent access to positive gender information, limited economic resources and a lack of opportunities for the women in these subcounties to start enjoying financial inclusion.
The project’s efficient team of five self-driven volunteers received support in the form of mobilisation, strategic planning and training. As a result of this grassroots approach, the community ownership of the project was very strong; community members involved in the project have continued to conduct sensitisation meetings and dialogues on Gender-Based Violence since the end of the project. What is more, in 2018, five Village Savings and Loans Associations were created to support women to be economically independent – an effective strategy to reduce Gender-Based Violence.
And last, but not least, Ms. Namata’s project led to the formation of a community-based organisation (and savings group) called the Embibo Gender Initiative, which has proven itself to be both scalable and sustainable. The Village Gender Team, one of the components of the Embibo Gender Initiative, has since won a ‘Blog 4 Dev Award’ from the World Bank.
In implementing her Social Action Project, Ms. Namata built up good working relations with a number of different community stakeholders who supported the project’s vision. For example, the local Teachers’ Network supported her in developing innovative ways to raise awareness in the communities, including instituting ‘Gender Days’. Ms. Namata has also worked closely with the Local Council Chairperson, who has been essential in mobilising and helping to carry out two Focus Group Discussions (FGD) on Gender-Based Violence, as well as helping to register the Embibo Gender Initiative.
‘Finding yourself as a feminist and [achieving] what you want to do cannot be done alone; you need people to show you, mentor you and provide a sisterhood. That is what TuWezeshe is to me.’