August 28

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“Agande!!(hello)”Mbarara….

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Give light and people will find their way….Colour of Hope….Colour of Liberation….Colour of Respect…!!!!

This is my first blog from the African continent completing almost a month here.Located about four hours south of Kampala,Uganda’s capital city,the town of Mbarara is surrounded by rolling grassy hills that turn golden in the dry season.It is a cattle and dairy country,and the main streets of the town center are dotted with shops selling fresh local milk by the ladle full.

For a relatively small country,there’s a lot that’s big about the place.Its home to the tallest mountain range in Africa,the worlds longest river and the continents largest lake.No doubt its called the” Pearl of Africa”.

My association here is with the prestigious “Millennium villages project” which looks after the” Eminyeeto” program for the girls and is governed by The Earth Institute.Eminyeeto means “Youth” in the local runyankore language widely spoken here.

The Eminyeeto Program is a community-based initiative that builds youth capacity and strengthens social,financial and emotional empowerment of girls and young women.Location of this specific project is the village Ruhiira cluster,south western Uganda a picturesque place with humongous amount of banana plantations(matoke as they call it) all over and which also serves as their staple diet.

The program has  four main goals  to facilitate: 1) Preventive health measures,2)Social and emotional learning curriculum,3)Female led business enterprise,4)Peer support activities.Through these components the program aims to build youth capacity emotionally,socially and financially as well as to reduce the prevalence of various types of sexual coercion and risk of HIV infection in the process.

Cross-generational sex (CGS)—or “Big Man” syndrome—is a pattern of sexual behavior between adolescent girls and much older men that brings increased health risks and consequences to young women.in most cases of CGS,the women are aged 15 to 19 and unmarried,but girls as young as 10 years of age have been reported to be targets.This is a malpractice and is devoiding girls of their basic rights and justice.

Eminyeeto aims to prevent the sexual abuse and exploitation inflicted upon girls and young women through this CGS in Uganda as well significantly make the girls more self-sufficient in terms of having equality,dignity and self-respect.

I will share about my work with the millennium villages project in my forthcoming blogs soon………

Regards;

RAVI MISHRA

GLAXOSMITHKLINE PHARMACEUTICALS LTD,

INDIA