Rape Hurts Foundation (RHF)
- Busoga Eastern Uganda
Greetings from Rape Hurts Foundation (RHF) from Busoga Eastern Uganda.
RHF is a non-profit, non-government organization working with marginalized people, especially rural girls & women in Eastern Uganda. RHF was established in 2008 as a community-based organization and registered as a non-profit Non-Government Organization in 2009, with functional governance structures that include a board of seven members, a senior management team and staff/volunteers. Initially, the organization started its operations in Jinja District, supporting and working with victims of rape & sexual violence, and also working with women to increase agricultural production for household food security and income generation. RHF currently operates in the Kamuli and Buyende villages of Eastern Uganda, focusing on;-
ü Sexual Reproduction Health & Rights
ü Socio-Economic Empowerment of Women & Children
ü Freedom from Violence and Human Rights
ü Access to Water & Sanitation (WASH) and Access to Solar Power
ü Land/Environment and Agric/farming Support
The Rape Hurts Foundation works in an environment of constant change that inspires us to partner with others to achieve more. A key goal of RHF is to partner with organisations and individuals with complementary missions. We have created awareness, village support groups, 24/7 support for the victims of rape, legal aid, crisis center/shelter, provided seeds/farm tools to groups of women, created pressure advocacy/lobbying groups, and worked through music, dance and drama which have reached thousands. We empowered child-headed families, trained youth on sexual reproductive health, empowered families headed by grannies, documented/researched and exposed cases of rape, trained villages in WASH, planted trees and created demonstration farms.
I willingly share my story of the events which led me to this full-time commitment. I am a rape victim and survivor, born and raised in a polygamous family of rural poor villages of Kamuli. Fetching water is a primary cultural role of girls and women there. In most cases, open water wells are at a distance of 2-5miles. Most girls come back from school late in the evenings since they have to walk from the schools which are always a long distance away. On arrival home they are sent to go and fetch water.
This is how I met my ugly fate. I was raped by the very people who were supposed to protect me while coming from a water-well in the dark night at the age of 11. Here the culture protects the rapist, and I was blamed instead. I never got any justice. Update: my rapist behaves as if nothing happened, it hurts. But I have been able to replace hate with love. In my village, women and girls suffer all forms of rape; ritual rape, cultural rape, marriage rape, forced marriage and child marriages. This reality compels me towards advocacy and change. I am among the few lucky ones because I attained a bachelor’s degree at Makerere University Kampala from my Bukyerimba Kamuli village. This was a wake-up call for me to use my unfortunate past for the betterment of the girls & women in this sub-region. I came out and spoke about my experiences and became a voice for the voiceless. Over the years, I have connected rape to poverty, water, food, human rights, awareness, light, violence and gender inequality. I know RAPE HURTS.
I would love to talk more about how RHF may partner with you to achieve common goals. Our work is never easy, but change never happens without a great deal of belief, effort and time. Strong relationships are not built overnight. This is not only about funding but also technical support, sharing ideas, membership, networking, working relations, etc.