The First Lady and Minister for Karamoja Affairs Janet Museveni on Saturday broke ground and unveiled a pictorial impression for a modern training centre to be constructed at Kaazi Girl Guides Training and Camping Ground, with a call on all Ugandans and friends of Guiding to hold hands and help the Uganda Girl Guides Association become more able to serve its purpose.
“I want to appeal to all Ugandans, all friends of Guiding and all people of good will, to join hands and ensure that this structure is not only built and completed in record time, but is also fully equipped and functional bearing in mind that the work of this Association is important in the nurturing and equipping of the girl child in Uganda with important life skills”, Mrs. Janet Museveni who is the Patron for the Uganda Girl Guides Association said.
She said the venture is a clear indication that the Girl Guide movement in Uganda still lives and is vibrantly alive, active and moving forward with purpose.
She congratulated the Girl Guides’ leadership and all active members for ensuring that their Association remains relevant in addressing the needs of the young people in Uganda.
She said the leaders of Government value what the Girl Guides Association does for the girl child.
Mrs. Museveni spoke about the dangerous trend among female children of Uganda being exposed to sexual activity too early in life and as a result becoming pregnant before their bodies are mature enough to bear children, which she said is driving the current high maternal and newborn mortality rates in the country, infections including fistula and HIV and AIDs as well as discontinued education leading to poverty because of lack of skills.
“I believe that the Girl Guides Movement could become a worthy partner in training and sensitizing young girls and equipping them with skills and knowledge that would prevent them from becoming victims of circumstances that destroy their destinies and future”, she said.
She appealed to the Ministries of Health, Education and Labour and Social Development to recognize the value of the Girl Guide Movement as an active partner and enable them to do more than they are currently able to do to impart life skills, knowledge and good values to the young girls in the country.
Mrs. Museveni extended gratitude to the family of the late Bandali Jaffer for offering to assist in the construction.
The Jaffer Bandali family will fund construction of the ground floor of the modern Girl Guides Training Centre.
She also thanked the Uganda Girl Guides Association for the donation of clothes and other items they handed over to her for the people of Karamoja region.
The Chairperson of Uganda Girl Guides Association also Minister for Teso Affairs Christine Aporu Amongin reported that despite their Association having the largest population in Africa, it is reaching only 1% of Uganda’s female population and therefore requested Mrs. Janet Museveni to become the Association’s Good Will Ambassador to ensure that they reach more girls.
Aporu called upon all head teachers and proprietors of different institutions to join the struggle for the good of the girl child by ensuring that Guiding prevails in their institutions.
She said the proposed storied building to house the training centre will replace the old building constructed in 1949 that Uganda Girl Guides currently uses for its trainings.
The Chief Commissioner for the Girl Guides in Uganda Josephine Kawuba reported that their Association is number one in looking after and caring about the girl child and that through guiding they create girls of virtue and young women of substance.
Robinah Sentumbwe Asiimwe who represented the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) described the ground breaking for the training centre as a dream come true saying that on completion the centre will even be hosting international trainings.
She said they would like to work with Mrs. Janet Museveni because of her passion for the girl child and requested her to partner with WAGGGS which is in 32 Countries and aims to reach 2 million girls by 2020, and also become the Ambassador of Girl Guiding in Africa.
The ground breaking ceremony was attended by District Commissioners from the Girl Guides Movement including 94 year old Majorie Kabuzi who was the very first African District Commissioner, Commissioners from the Scouts Association and other stakeholders.
Girl Guides and Brownies from Kaboja Junior School, Namugongo Model Primary School, Mary Preparatory Primary School and Mt. St. Mary’s Namagunga Secondary School entertained the guests.