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Reflecting on the life of a girl in the Katwe slums.

January 23, 2019



Because I am a girl in Katwe. Even if I am a girl in Katwe.


Two sentences. One powerful shift. All encapsulated in a beautiful poem that reflects the life of a girl in the Katwe slums—a girl who is on the rise (full poem below).

Our partner Hope for Justice’s mission is to end modern slavery by 1) preventing exploitation, 2) rescuing victims, 3) restoring lives, and 4) reforming society.

Outreach teams, self-help groups, and community programs empower people to protect themselves and their families from traffickers.

Specialists work with police to identify and build trust with victims of slavery, removing them from exploitation and into tailored restorative care.

Hope for Justice trains professionals to spot the signs of trafficking and to respond and campaign for policy change. 

Today, we want to bring you a powerful example of how they are preventing exploitation in the slums of Uganda by empowering young girls to resist exploitation.

Life in the Katwe slums for children, especially pre-teen and teen girls, is a constant struggle of avoidance—avoidance from criminals, abusive alcoholics and drug users, and those looking to manipulate and exploit.

Hope for Justice understands these realities and regularly works in the slums to build each girls’ resilience against slavery and exploitation through interactive learning sessions. With each session, the Hope for Justice team raises her aspirations, dispelling falsehoods, and implanting truths so she understands her rights.

They provide a place where she can start to express and value herself and believe in her ability to make her own decisions, change her situation, and stand firm against exploitation. In turn, this allows her to value education, health, and safety for not only herself but for her fellow peers as well.

We visited a group of these girls recently in the Katwe slums and they showed us how powerful they are by reciting this moving poem they created together:

A GIRL IN KATWE
I am a girl living in the slum communities of Katwe.
Because I am a girl in Katwe.

Every day I struggle to live. 
I am not enrolled in school. 
Because I am a girl in Katwe.

I sell sweets on the streets of Kampala.
I sell greens. 
Because I am a girl in Katwe.

I sell yellow bananas.
I am engaged in a bad dancing group.
Because I am a girl in Katwe.

I just sit at home.
I have to support my parents to get food at home.
Because I am a girl in Katwe.

I survive car accidents every day because of authorities rounding us up.
Because I am a girl in Katwe.

I am surrounded by drunkards and drug users every day;
many of us are abused by them.
Because I am a girl in Katwe.

Some of the girls sell their bodies for survival.
Because I am a girl in Katwe.

But from our sessions with Hope for Justice,
I have learned that I am important and I matter.
Even if I am a girl in Katwe!

My voice matters and I can be heard.
Even if I am a girl in Katwe!

My life matters and I can protect it.
Even if I am a girl in Katwe!

My feelings matter and this community must protect me.
Even if I am a girl in Katwe!

My story matters and I want to tell a good story in the future.
Even if I am a girl in Katwe!

Good people protect me always.
Even if I am a girl in Katwe!

YES, I AM AN EMPOWERED GIRL IN KATWE!

Help us continue to empower young girls by donating to Hope for Justice during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.





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