Nampijja Winnie (20), Nampijja Hasifa (19), Akatukunda Fridaus (19) and Nakisekka Hadijah (21) are some of the vulnerable AGYW from Bukakata Sub County enrolled in GTL project. The trio’s lives were dependent on transactional relationships, which put them at risk of acquiring HIV/AIDS. The PEDN training in Social Empowerment aspects, Rights and Responsibilities, Say No to Violence and Accessing Reproductive Health Services, changed them for the better because they have learnt to make better health choices, have developed confidence to visit health facilities for check-ups and also know their rights. They have also developed determination to strongly say NO to violence especially sexual violence and feel more empowered. During the interaction with the project officer, Fridaus had this to say,
“I thank PEDN and Aidsfonds for bringing this project and the training to us. I also thank these two organisations for picking the girl child from behind and bringing us forward. I can now make informed decisions, I didn’t know that I had rights but now I know, I would just do whatever I was told to do whether it was bad, hurting or painful. I also used to behave as I wanted but now, I am a changed person. I could not even think of going for medical attention of any form because I feared and it didn’t matter to me anyway; but right now, I am very confident and ready to visit the health center for VCT to check how my life stands”
Her friend Nakisekka Hadijah on the other hand said
“After the ASRHR session, I felt obliged and confident to go for medical check-up immediately and indeed I visited our Health Centre III in Bukakata for VCT.”
Winnie, Hasifa, Fridaus and Hadijah are part of the 500 Adolescent Girls and Yong Women (AGYW) in five (5) Sub Counties in Masaka district equipped with ASRHR knowledge and skills to confidently seek for health services in order to value their health and avoid transactional sex.