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MUC empowering women in rural areas

The programme has empower women to establish sustainable businesses (COURTESY PHOTO)

MITYANA: Mityana (U) Charity (MUC)  is proud to associate with the effort to empower rural women as the world celebrates the International Women’s Day, to be hosted in Mityana District this year.

From helping disadvantaged rural women to taking part in women empowering campaigns, an initiative that rhymes with this year’s theme, MUC exists to support and positively contribute to lives of vulnerable Ugandans to attain full recognition in the society, through provision of Education Support, Economic empowerment initiatives through agriculture, WASH and Health Systems Strengthening and Human Rights Awareness and Advocacy, thus a pathway to achieving the Millennium Development goals and sustainable development.

According to the Executive Director Mr Geoffrey Kanaalwa, MUC coordinates rural efforts to integrate gender equality and women’s empowerment into poverty reduction, education, and environment, increased access to clean water and sustainable development. In her 5 years strategic plan which was launched last year 2017, MUC puts her focus on ensuring that the voice of a rural woman is heard louder than ever in all sphere of life.

MUC has given women a chance at secondary income on top of agriculture to support families (FILE PHOTO)

Through our rural networks in Mityana, Kiboga, Mubende,Kyakwanzi and Gomba districts, we work to ensure that women have a real voice in all matters related to land ownership, governance and others spheres of life in order to participate equally with men in public dialogue and decision-making and influence the decisions that will determine the future of their families.

Ms Florence Nabukalu, the programmes officer at MUC  says that under Education, MUC sponsors more than 300 ( 94.2% female] bright and needy students at various schools including Universities and through credit facilities empowered rural parents where these children come from to start income generating activities to effectively sustain their household needs..

“In partnership with many of our local stakeholders, we also do girl empowerment through teenage mothers support to enable them get back to school and many of these girls dreams have been re-ignited through Education and economic empowerment,” said Ms Nabukalu.

Ms Sarah Nayiga, 26, a beneficiary from Mityana says she graduated with BA Business management and entrepreneurship from Makerere University in Jan 2015, however despite her continued search for job, she couldn’t secure one, she then asked for a business financing of Shs 2.5m from MUC and started her own business in Busubizi Mityana were she now envisages employing many other beneficiaries of MUC.

She adds “My support by MUC began while I was in primary Five in 2000 with no clear direction of my life, after 15 years under the care of this organization with a great vision of a rural woman, I have become a focused, determined and business oriented lady.

Seeing my business growing motivates me and I now realise I was making a great mistake of searching for employment instead of starting my own business”

Ms Joyce Nakibule, 18 now joining senior five at St Elizabeth girls secondary school in Mityana describes MUC as a mother for “a needy children”

“My father is deaf and my mother is blind and deaf, I am sponsored by MUC and my sister Mbatudde Janet is now sponsored by MUC at Makerere University.

MUC took me up when I was in Primary two at St. Denis Katumba Primary School, at that time i would hardly sit for exams due to lack of school fees. At joining MUC I felt like achieving the best I needed in life, my fees are fully paid, all school requirements provided to me including meeting my medical bills whenever am unwell. Am now focusing on realizing my dream of becoming an Accountant and be able to effectively support my disabled parents ‘May God bless you and bless you’

Ms Sulayina Nasimbwa, 65, from Kikube village in Kulangalo sub-county in Mityana  “I was being chased away from the land (Kibanja) we bought with my husband in 1996 and I was leaving in great fear not sure of where to relocate given my old age, however after land sensitization camps held in Kalangaalo and the intervention of Mityana Charity, I was able to gain hope and I now live on my land in harmony with the landlord” laments Sulayina.

Gender equality

Mr Kinaalwa says that while most countries recognize that equal rights should exist between men and women; unfortunately this is often not the case for a rural woman most especially the young girls who are treated as assets for source of income, he says this is the reason why MUC is sensitive to gender while designing her community programs and sensitizes communities in rural areas to produce regulations intended to fight discrimination and introduced programs granting women access to health, education and economic rights such as land ownership.

“And even with these regulations, there is need for compassionate organizations to fix the gap concerning gender equality, we need everyone on board and we at MUC we are dedicated to improving human rights such as gender equality,” said Mr Kinaalwa.

Mr Kinaalwa says the goal of MUC in rural areas is to empower women in the four districts.

“And our activities revolve around three main themes, i.e. Entrepreneurship, Capacity-building, and ensuring a healthy community,” said Mr Kinaalwa

Under Entrepreneurship, MUC provides revolving loan schemes to enable women engage in income generating activities such as animal husbandry, and farming with focus on value addition and linkage to the available markets all aimed at increasing their household incomes.

MUC considers experiential learning to be key; therefore exchange visits are organised amongst with beneficiaries in order to exchange successful business practices, ideas and skills with neighbouring communities so that they can be adopted for better farming results. During the business mentorship attention id also given to business planning which involves development of realistic business plans, records management, health, hygiene/sanitation trainings and gender issues.

Ms Nabukalu says they are particularly grateful to the Independent Development Fund [IDF] for funding the land rights lessons at MUC and to Wellington college of United Kingdom for sponsoring children’s rights awareness lessons in schools.

“We have also started visits to prisons to teach women skills also funded by Wellington college in United kingdom, their rights such that when they are released, they go back to the villages to lead a meaningful and productive life,” said Ms Nabukalu.

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Mityana (U) Charity (MUC) is an indigenous registered non-for-profit making Christian organization affiliated to

The Mityana Charity a registered charity in the United Kingdom to support MUC development projects in Uganda.

The organisation currently operates in five districts in Uganda that include Mityana, Mubende, Kiboga,

Gomba and Kyankwanzi.

And their services target the needy in remote rural areas and has contributed a lot in improving the quality

of life for under privileged living in rural areas especially women.

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