By Paul Mayambala
Halima Namakula made her mark on Uganda’s music industry close to two decades ago but today, she is chartering a different path which has seen her get more international recognition.
Her NGO, Women at Work International (WAWI), which is engaged in fighting to end Fistula, a silent killer among women has for the second time been invited to showcase at the UNAA convention.
This year UNAA will be electing its new President after the two years term which was second Kisanja for Mr. Monday Atigo. It is always a bigger gathering where most Ugandan don’t want to miss due to the elections. UNAA has once again invited WAWI to give more testimonies and present its achievement for 2018/2019.
“We are glad to be invited again. This time round UNAA has also involved men who have stood by their spouses during the fistula condition. UNAA has pledged to cater Air tickets and accommodation for the survivors and the Men Champions to present and give testimonies on how they stood by each other throughout their hardship,” she said.
The men were also awarded medals by WAWI’S Patron RT. Hon. Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga for their being brave and did not desert their women for such a very long period of time.
Last year UNAA invited WAWI Fistula Survivors to attend the convention and give testimonies on how they survived the condition and reintegrated to the community.
The survivors were accompanied by two Directors and WAWI Founder Mama Halima Namakula.
During the convention UNAA President Mr. Monday Atigo Monday donated 4 computers for WAWI office and fundraised $7000 (Sh26m) for WAWI to end Fistula in Uganda. Prior to that UNAA as an organization contributed air tickets and accommodation for the Fistula survivors that attended last year’s convention.
“We were very grateful for the noble contribution as it has enabled us to create awareness in the districts of Jinja and Luwero district respectively. While in Jinja we discovered women groups which are now partnering with WAWI to create jobs for the Fistula survivors,” Namakula says.
She recalls that two weeks before International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019 WAWI in partnership with Sirajje Ministries in Bombo held a campaign under the theme “BALANCE FOR THE BETTER” which attracted more than 2000 people from the communities.
Namakula also mentions that WAWI was able to mobilize more than 10 Fistula Patients during the awareness and were referred to Bishop Sili in Luwero formally known as Lacor Hospital.
Ever since Namakula founded Women at Work International (WAWI) in 2003, she has greatly impacted the community.
She has helped over 200 sexual workers off the streets with over 1000 still under mentorship.
And with the low sensitization and implementation of family planning campaigns, Namakula also joined the campaign to educate women on child spacing. It is through this campaign that she got to know about the fistula menace as some of the victims revealed their challenges.
She recalls that since she channeled her energies to help fistula victims up to 150 women have received total healing.