International Women’s Day Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures

Mar 06, 2012 12:26 PM EST
Marilyn Skinner co founder of Watoto gives hugs to the Watoto women  <br/>Watoto
Marilyn Skinner, co-founder of Watoto, gives hugs to the Watoto women. Watoto

International Women’s Day 2012’s theme, Connecting Girls and Inspiring Futures. Watoto is excited to join the rest of the world to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, 2012. Watoto’s Living Hope program is restoring dignity to vulnerable women through improved quality of life, and medical intervention including HIV/AIDS care, empowerment and income generating projects through microfinance loans and peer counseling.

Leading up to International Women’s Day, Watoto will focus on the struggles and successes of some of the women that have gone through the Living Hope program. We will be celebrating woman like Ruth Nassali, a 40 year old HIV+ widow and mother of three boys who is now a leader in her community. She runs a flourishing poultry business and is mentoring her fellow African sisters to fulfill their purpose in life despite adversity.

“All these women entered Living Hope broken and incapacitated, but they've learned that their story is not yet over. Although they can't rewrite the past, they can regain control of their future.” - Marilyn Skinner, Co-Founder of Watoto.

Surveys indicate that girls who have reached puberty are the largest number of school dropouts in Uganda. Girls cannot afford sanitary pads and opt for unsanitary alternatives like leaves or rags. Living Hope’s new initiative is the manufacturing of Makapads. Sanitary pads made mainly of papyrus reeds, which grow abundantly in Uganda. Living Hope’s goal is to distribute Makapads to pubescent girls in communities, so as to cut down on the number of schoolgirl dropouts.

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Watoto Canada will be posting inspirational stories of the Living Hope ladies and encouraging women to connect with other women, and take real action in helping create a future for the vulnerable women in Africa.

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