Let’s talk about gender equality. Globally, it can mean the difference between life and death.

According to UN Women, almost one in three women have suffered from physical and/or sexual violence at least once in their life.[1]

Most of the violence is committed by intimate partners. This was the experience of Oola’s wife in Uganda.

ADRA upholds equality. We work towards a world where all may live as God intended: with respect, dignity, and the pursuit of their God-given potential.

“Opened My Eyes”, ADRA Canada

Our TOGETHER project, with generous support from Global Affairs Canada, works with communities in Cambodia, Kenya, the Philippines, and Uganda to ensure that the most vulnerable, especially women and girls, can exercise their health-related human rights.

It takes team effort, so TOGETHER also focuses on boys and men.

“Opened My Eyes”, ADRA Canada

Oola joined one of TOGETHER’s trainings.

“The day we had the first training opened my eyes to realize how alcohol misuse had destroyed my family. The discussion on causes and effects of gender-based violence (GBV) helped me to analyze the irresponsible life that brought misery to my family members. Alcohol was all I cared about.” Oola shared that he would sell household items, and even food, to fund his dependency. “I would come back very drunk and fight with my wife and children when they asked for money. On several occasions, my wife and children would run away and spend the night in the bush to escape my violent behaviour. The thought of this makes me cry with regret over how terrible I was as a father and husband.

However, through ADRA’s training, I got a second chance in life. I am a changed man. My wife is proud of me. Before I sell anything, I must discuss first with my wife. We agree on the price of the goods and the reason for selling. Even when I have misunderstandings with my wife, we can solve them privately so that the children never notice. This has brought a lot of peace in my home and restored the respect for me that my children had lost because of the alcoholism. I’ve now reduced my consumption to save money and to keep the rest of my children in school to protect them from teenage pregnancy. I regret how my behaviour made my three boys drop out of school.”

Oola’s second chance benefits more than his family. He’s a member of the Community-Led Monitoring and Evaluation Learning (ColMEL) team established in collaboration with ADRA.

“Opened My Eyes”, ADRA Canada

“As the ColMEL team, we use community dialogues, music, dance, and drama to sensitize our community and the neighbouring villages on GBV which has led to a lot of unwanted pregnancies, early marriages, and school drop-outs.

I am now a change agent in my community. I also sensitize my friends about GBV whenever I go for a drink. They listen because they see the changes I made in my family. I call upon everyone to join hands with us just like ADRA has empowered us to end GBV.”

Your support of ADRA’s work upholds equality. Thank you!

by: Lydia Mutuwa, ADRA Uganda, with Heather Grbic, ADRA Canada
[1] Facts and figures: Ending violence against women | What we do | UN Women – Headquarters https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures