Women’s Organisation Network for Human Rights Advocacy (WONETHA) an NGO that advocates for health and human rights of sex workers in Uganda recently rolled out 26 of their members as graduands after completing an adult education course. The 26 sex workers graduation in different disciplines under the FALU program on 23rd August 2017.
In 2011, with support from American Jewish World Service-AJWS, WONETHA enrolled its members who were interested in pursuing an education in different fields. A large number of sex workers have since graduated in different disciplines - many focusing on computer based courses, the English language as well as financial management.
Natukunda Diana, a renowned sex work activist, who also serves as the advocacy and communication officer at WONETHA was one of the first beneficiaries of the adult literacy program; she talked to Kuchu Times and shared the program’s journey as well as how it has changed her life.
“There was a literacy gap within the sex workers community- many of these women could barely write their names. Some of them could not express themselves which made their advocacy very difficult. This program was therefore put in place to pass on the much needed formal education to WONETHA members. Even though we are sex workers, we need these skills for survival in this competitive world,” Ms. Natukunda explained.
She further explained that this program has been very helpful to many sex workers because most of them would love to go back to school but are limited by resources. Ms Natukunda hopes that more sponsors will come on board to help WONETHA increase the number of beneficiaries.
“I am thankful for this program that WONETHA is implementing; I have gained very many skills and I'm sure they will help me in life. I never knew how to save money as I would spend all my earnings without proper planning. During the course, I started applying what I was being taught- I now own different plantations and I’m even employing a few people.,” Lydia, a beneficiary of the program said.
Jonah Tumushabe the membership and networking officer at WONETHA passed out the graduands and handed over certificates delaying their achievement.