Nanono Jamirah is a 20-year-old AGYW belongs to GTL club 19B in Kasaka Village in Buwunga Sub County (Masaka district). She is one of the vulnerable girls that benefited from the Girls Take Lead (GTL) Pilot project. Before the project arrived in the area, her life was controlled by fulfilling her needs through transactional relationships. She got whatever she needed in life through engaging in transactional sex with men. She had no hope but taking each day as it came and passed. However, when GTL came to her village and enrolled her, that is when she realised that she needed to preserve her life and learn to work for herself. she shares,
“I feel have a lot of energy in me now, I used to be a nuisance in the area and all the time, my thoughts were about men, which somehow made me the talk of the area to the extent that I felt like an outcast. I am now more confident than before and I can even speak in public because I want to change my community.
I even stood for the position of Youth secretary in my area during the recent national political elections but I failed. This however does demoralise me because I tried at least which I could not have done before if it hadn’t been for the Social Empowerment and Leadership training, I got from GTL project. And away from that, I also managed to start up my small business of making pastries (locally known as ‘chapattis’). I started with Ugx 30,00 but right now I already have above Ugx50,000 in profits. I use some of the profits to meet my personal needs and the rest is saved with our GTL saving club. No more transactional sex in my life, I can work and get everything I need. Thank you Aidfonds and PEDN for bringing such a life changing project in our area. I wish many more girls in our subcounty could also get these skills”
Jamirah is one of the 500 Adolescent Girls and Yong Women (AGYW) in five (5) Sub Counties in Masaka district being supported by the project with knowledge and vocational skills to be able to challenge situations that expose them to sleeping with men for gifts/money (also called transactional sex) which exposes them to the danger of catching HIV/AIDS.