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Fundraiser to raise awareness and funds about gender-based violence and sex abuse in Uganda

September 15, 2020

The fight against sex abuse and gender-based violence in Uganda is a real problem. The Sunrise Centre is doing something about it. They are holding a fundraiser tomorrow at Decor Out The Door to talk about how they are helping raise awareness and funds to fight the issue. Nicole Van Seters is the founder of Sunrise Centre, and she says this fundraiser is a great way to educate the people of Lethbridge on what they can do to help, or support the group.

Sunrise Centre has two components, a school that is preschool through grade seven, where they are working with underprivileged children. They also have a clinic and birth centre attached in Uganda.

During this time of COVID-19, the organization is starting a third program called 'Women and Girls Rise Up!', which raises awareness about gender-based violence, and sexual abuse, "It's not just something that's happening in Uganda, but worldwide. Since we're working in Uganda, and this is something our community identified as a need, we've decided that we need to add this program as well," adds Seters.

The fundraiser started as a brainstorm with Seters and her sister, who works at Decor Out the Door, "I had 100 pair of designer underwear donated, and I wasn't quite sure what to do with them. Originally we were going to have a private party, and invite friends and people to come and support. But with COVID, we decided that maybe this was a better idea," says Seters.

The funds raised tomorrow will go directly to the 'Women and Girls Rise Up!' program, says Seters, "We've partnered with another Ugandan based organization called 'Girl Up'. They're going to be doing a training of the trainer workshops with our midwives, nurses, and some other stakeholders."

Through this program there will be an outreach to 10 surrounding villages, "Once we have our trainers trained, we'll be hosting a 3 day workshops, with 25 women or girls per workshop. We'll be addressing all the issues surrounding sexual and reproductive rights, gender rights. After they complete these workshops, we'll be setting up community safety committees that can follow up on cases of reported abuse, and give support to the victims," adds Seters.

Each workshop costs $130, and that provides 3 days of training, plus meals for 25 women and girls.

Seters says the community support was a a big reason fo the 'Women and Girls Rise Up!' program being able to get started, "I just believe in the goodness of people, and that the money will follow. The training of the trainers starts in 2 weeks, and by then we hope to have enough money to start those workshops."

To donate, you can make a $10 donation and get a pair of underwear, or you can make an individual donation. Sunrise Centre is a registered non-profit, and for any cheques received, the organization can provide a tax-deductible receipt.

The fundraiser will start tomorrow in Lethbridge at 10am at Decor Out The Door, and the booth will have a display and pamphlets with more information.

For additional information on Sunrise Centre, you can visit http://www.buiga-sunrise.org/