Women Initiative for Emancipation and Renaissance Organisation (WERO), on 6th November hosted her partners and allies in Kampala for a daylong event to celebrate the organization’s achievements since inception in 2019. The female sex worker led organization also sought to recognise the acting Board of Directors and congratulate volunteer staff on the completion of a skills development course in Business Software Applications.
In her welcome remarks, WERO's Executive Director Maria Matovu shared a brief history of the organisation. Formed in 2019 by a group of female sex workers, WERO is a nonprofit entity which aims at advocacy of health rights and well-being of female sex workers based in Kampala and Wakiso but with a special focus on those that live on the islands and landing sites which are lacking in health service delivery.
Ms Matovu also noted that while many organizations advocate for economic empowerment of their members and most at risk populations, it is necessary that leaders begin with their staff or the volunteers that they work with. "If you leave the people you work with behind, they won't be able to implement these programs to the best of our capacity because the implementers lack the right skills and knowledge. That’s why we agreed as staff to pursue this course that we've just finalized to contribute to our skills development. This now counts as part of our achievements and one of the reasons we celebrate today,” she explained.
Simbwa Dante, WERO's Programs Officer highlighted mapping of hotspots especially in the islands such as Kasenyi, Bulambo, Kili and Nzisi as one of the organization's achievements. Other achievements included; partnerships and collaborations with several CBOs, distribution of 250 face masks for both organization and community members, publication of WERO's magazine, composition of a WERO's anthem and supply of food relief and IEC materials through outreaches with support from staff and partners like Lady Mermaids Bureau. All these were possible despite the presence of #COVID19 pandemic in the country and lack of funding which have been the greatest limitations to their work.
The acting Board Chair of WERO, Sanyu Hajjara Batte who also graced the event as guest of honor applauded the staff for their teamwork in ensuring the progress the organization’s activities despite the challenges that they have faced within a short period of time. Ms Batte further appreciated the boost in WERO's visibility through forging partnerships and collaborations with different organizations, social media platforms, partaking in different spaces and delivery on their activities.
Others on the acting Board of Directors that was unveiled include Cindy Hope, Morgan Kanyike and Arthur Artlan Mubiru. The occasion was crowned with awarding of certificates to WERO's staff for completion of their course in Business Software Application.