Sure Start Project
About the project
Sure Start is an exciting and innovative project whose aim is to develop the use of Karate and Taekwondo around community schools in Tororo to improve the status of girls and bring about improving gender relations in the communities in which they live.
Why Martial Arts
Many girls who participate in Karate or Taekwondo act as role models for other girls leading to a change in self image with many more girls developing self confidence they need to stay longer in school, resist unwanted pressures that lead to forced/early marriage, HIV infection, and girls dropping out of school.
However, many girls today still lack choices and options mainly because of deep-rooted inequalities that are often gender based. For some, violence and fear are facts of daily life. For others, motherhood comes early before their bodies are fully mature and able to bear children without harm, while others are denied the education given to their brothers or, if they do attend school, have limited china job opportunities.
In the community, parental desire for bride price, weak and inappropriate enforcement of laws, breakdown of social norms, forced migration, and preferences for the boy child, compounded by poverty has led to discrimination of girls whose voices are not heard in decision making processes in matters that affect their lives.
Many children especially girls, also lack knowledge and awareness of their rights to protection from violence and abuse. They lack opportunities for recreation and life skills development, and are unable to negotiate safer sex and relationships (UNICEF, 2000).
They tend to suffer in silence leading many, girls especially, to grow up feeling socially isolated, denied education and opportunities, and in fear of being sold into unwanted or serial marriages with all their devastating consequences.
Sure Start operates in the Eastern region of Uganda and right now has training centres in Tororo and Pallisa districts with a total of 120 girls who have completed training to become trainers and over 500 who are undergoing karate / Taekwondo training. The project targets only girls between the ages of 11 to 17 years, to develop their skills in the realm of conflict management, relationships and domestic violence. Each girl undertakes 2 sports and one gender training a week for 17 weeks.
Using the FEEL FREE resource pack developed by MIFUMI, the girls gain valuable information about relationships, violence and abuse; develop self awareness and a sense of personal ownership over their bodies. They are able to share experiences, learn how to avoid risky situations, stay longer in schools, and avoid early marriages, violent relationships and HIV infection, and to provide informed support to others.
This initiative was developed with generous support from Women Win, the International Women’s Fund that supports sport and physical activities as instruments for social change and women’s empowerment.
The MIFUMI Project is a developmental NGO and women’s rights organization based in Tororo. The organization has worked for over ten years to reduce the burden of poverty; addressing issues that hinder development. MIFUMI particularly protects women and children experiencing domestic violence and bride price related violations.
MIFUMI Box 274, Tororo. Mobile 0772 630906 Office 0392 966 282