Empowering school students for change
Stopping unsafe abortion and stigma through education
Rural communities in Uganda have a high prevalence rate of gender inequality, sexual abuse and incest. There is little provision of sexual and reproductive health services and abortion is highly restricted. The Safe Abortion Action Fund, hosted by IPPF, is financing the grassroots organization, VODA, to empower young people as changemakers in their schools and communities. With training and support, peer educators have been educating friends about sexual and reproductive health, and local health providers are serving women in need. Death from unsafe abortion was once a widespread problem but through the power of peer education, these have almost disappeared and community attitudes towards safe abortion has been transformed.
"I took care of Anne after she tried an unsafe abortion, she was bleeding a lot, she may have even died. She had been raped ."
"I lost my daughter, Gladys. She was 16 and studying at senior secondary school. I didn't know she was pregnant"
"Sometimes we receive cases related to incest. I thank VODA for coming to aid these desperate young girls who have had experiences like mine."
"I decided to join a campaign that focuses on stopping unsafe abortion because I just want to save lives. Stigma was a very widespread problem here."