How These Young Teenage Girls Are Making A Difference In Their Communities

A group of young teenage school going girls are addressing challenges in their communities COURTESY PHOTO A group of young teenage school going girls are addressing challenges in their communities
A group of young teenage school-going girls, under their organisation Young Angels Network (YAN) are choosing to spend their holiday free time wisely by helping to address challenges in their communities.
 
On Friday 31th, the young girls aged between 12 and 15 visited and donated scholastic materials to orphans and underprivileged children at Divine Focused Church in Kalerwe. These children subscribe to a program known as Divine Restoration of Orphans Program   (DROP) that was started by Pastor Mukisa  Patrick in 2016.
 
The group of 8 girls in the company of some of their contributing partners took writing and reading books, pens, pencils, rubbers, rulers, mathematical sets and an assortment of foodstuffs such as bags of posho, sugar, sweets and sodas to help out the children as they prepare to start school. Also donated were some clothing items for both the children and their caretakers. 
 
According to the founder and CEO of the organisation, the 15-year-old Daniela Akankuda said they decided to come together to create a platform where teenage Girls can connect,  identify social challenges within their communities and creatively find solutions to these challenges. 
 
"We use part of our pocket money/ savings to do simple acts of kindness that impact the lives of people around us. Instead of spending most of our time on the phone, distracted by social media and engaging in early relationships, we choose to spend it helping our communities be a better place for us and those around us. In the past, we have cleaned hospitals, markets, and participated in fundraiser car wash activities to raise funds for terminally ill teenagers. Helping out gives us so much pleasure," Akankuda said. According to Akankunda, in future, the YAN plans to engage in policy dialogues around issues that affect teenagers in general, and girls in particular in Uganda. 
 
Gillian Ahakundire, a student at Makerere University who is a member of YAN and volunteers as the Operations Manager urged other young people to seek opportunities to do charity and help out the less advantaged as a way of growing themselves, socially and spiritually. She noted that you do not need to have so much to reach out to others. Even the little one gives can change a life. She offered to pay school fees for one of the children at the church school.
 
Pastor Mukisa urged Churches and pastors to use their resources and influence to help out the needy and solve challenges in communities where they operate instead of focusing on building bigger churches and mansions. He noted that after all, the body of Christ, are the people themselves.  
 
"Kalerwe is a slum area and we have a lot of children that are out of school, some because their parents died and they have no one to pay school fees but others have parents who are willing to take them to school but they can't afford because they are poor and have a lot of children. I decided to start DROP to help these children especially the girls because they are at a bigger risk if they are not in school. Most of them end up sleeping with older men who infect them and they infect their age mates," he said
 
The patron of the group, Ms. Jill Kyatuheire who is also the mother of Akankuda, urged parents to support their children’s passion and guide their ambitions to grow into people of influence and purpose. "As parents, we have lots of challenges especially in this era where there are a lot of distractions for children like phones, social media, drugs and alcohol. It is hard to keep the teenagers focused and most of them have ended up going a stray and damaging their young lives permanently. When my daughter told me she wanted to do charity with her friends, I was very excited and I decided to support them," she said
 
Ms Jeniffer Kwarisiima, a parent to one of the girls (Elizabeth Kamasiko) noted that “there are not many girls founded and headed organisations in Uganda, and to see these young girls be so focused and intentional in organizing themselves and their peers to engage in such life changing initiatives is amazing and should be highly supported”. 
Last modified onWednesday, 05 February 2020 00:21

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