We'll be supporting our friends at Act4Africa whilst we are in Uganda in February by decorating Kathy's Centre and taking donations for the kindergarten.
Act4Africa are building Kathy's Centre in memory of their co-founder, Kathy Smedley, who died in August 2014. Kathy’s Centre will provide a kindergarten/early years education facility and access to advice, counselling and health support for women. Kathy’s Centre will effectively draw together all the issues that mattered most to Kathy Smedley under one roof. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate her life.
Act4Africa's website has everything you need to know about the centre, the build progress, fundraising and partnership with EFOD (Engineers For Overseas Development).
Where is Kathy’s Centre being built?
With the money raised already Act4Africa have purchased 3 acres of land on which to build Kathy’s Centre. The site is on the outskirts of Uganda’s Mayuge town, not far from where Kathy spent many years working with the local community. It is in an ideal location, next to the main road and within easy reach for the local population.
Why does Mayuge need Kathy’s Centre?
Gender inequality in rural Uganda, as in much of rural Africa, is entrenched. This leads to both health problems and poverty, which together create a degenerative cycle from which women find it difficult to break free:
– Women lack the knowledge and ability to control their own sexual and reproductive health
– Many are not using modern methods of contraception
– There are high rates of teenage and unwanted pregnancies, leading to unsafe abortions, or death in childbirth for girls simply too young to bear children
As a result women are three to five times more likely than men to be infected with HIV
– Most women are involved in subsistence farming, an existence ever-vulnerable to the adverse effects of drought or illness
– Many leave school early, with little to no chance of ever finding waged employment
– Poverty and lack of opportunity lead to high risk sexual behaviour and limit access to health services