Wat is CHanGE?

CHanGE (Campaign for sexual Health & Gender Equality) is een project van UCOS over gendergelijkheid en seksuele en reproductieve gezondheid en rechten (SRGR).

Samen met studenten en onze partners versterken we in Vlaanderen het draagvlak voor de mondiale strijd voor gendergelijkheid en rechtvaardige toegang tot SRGR. Zo dragen we ons steentje bij aan een slagkrachtige internationale beweging.

De focus van de CHanGE-campagne 2019 ligt op verhalen van activisten en organisaties die strijden voor SRGR in vluchtelingencontexten. Deze zomer trekt onze nieuwe lichting CHanGEmakers in drie teams naar Libanon, Marokko en Oeganda.

Ondertussen hebben de studenten al drie voorbereidingsweekends achter de rug waarin ze kennis maakten met project CHanGE, meer te weten kwamen over hun partnerlanden, zich verdiepten in het voeren van campagnes en bijleerden over interviewtechnieken en het vergroten van hun impact via sociale media. De weekends werden nóg boeiender met een quiz, allerlei teambuilding activiteiten en een bezoek aan een forumtheater van het Intercultureel Vrouwencentrum in Antwerpen.

Wil je meer te weten komen over het CHanGE 2019 campagnethema? Neem dan zeker een kijkje op onze CHanGE 2019 webpagina hieronder.

Campagne 2019

Tijdens drie intensieve voorbereidingsweekends trok onze nieuwe lichting CHanGEmakers deze zomer in drie teams naar Libanon, Marokko en Oeganda. Ze spitsten hun oren en trokken hun ogen wijd open om zich te laten inspireren door moedige individuen en krachtige bewegingen die zich inzetten voor gendergelijkheid en seksuele en reproductieve gezondheid en rechten (SRGR).

De complexe verhalen die ze te horen krijgen belichten ze in het najaar van 2019 tijdens hun campagne die ze volledig zelf ineen puzzelen en lanceren. Wil je op de hoogte blijven van de CHanGE-campagne? Volg onze CHanGEmakers dan op de voet via Facebook of Instagram!


CHanGE kijkt verder dan de Belgische grenzen. Niet alleen leren we van partnerorganisaties in het Zuiden en inspireren ze onze campagnes, we gaan ook actief met hen aan de slag. Zo werken we van 2019 tot en met 2021 met het Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum (UYAHF) samen aan de wereldwijde strijd van gendergelijkheid en seksuele en reproductieve gezondheid en rechten (SRGR) voor en door jongeren.

UYAHF legt met 20 jongeren – waarvan enkelen afkomstig zijn uit een vluchtelingkamp of gastgemeenschap – een traject af waarin ze worden opgeleid tot Youth Advocacy Change Champions. Met de juiste kennis en competenties gaan ze op pad als rolmodel in hun gemeenschap. De stemmen van deze jongeren worden hardgemaakt waardoor de Youth Advocacy Champions onder andere het mandaat krijgen om hun gemeenschap te vertegenwoordigen bij de districtoverheid.

Voorgaande edities?


“Music makes people forget their worries for a moment.”⁣
Faridah is a young Congolese woman who fled her country after her mother was murdered. She lives in the Kyaka II refugee settlement and tries to motivate young people in several⁣ ways. Together with her brother, she built a recording studio from scratch. They record⁣ songs about life at the settlement (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaHgomV4Exg) and always try to do so with a positive⁣ message.⁣
Besides that, she is part of the Youth Parliament, where the voices of young people at the⁣ settlement are heard and truly considered. The lack of a sense of direction and purpose is a⁣ problem at the settlement. There is little distraction and it’s tempting to get involved in illegal⁣ activities. But thanks to people like Faridah, young people feel valued, heard and⁣
appreciated. It was one of the most heartwarming moments of the trip to see her approach⁣ every small group of youngsters she comes across. She takes her time to listen to them and⁣ inspire and support them with her mini motivational speeches.⁣
#uganda #srhr #youthparliament #ucos #change #refugeesettlement #youthempowerment⁣
#music #kyaka⁣
“Wrong information is going around. I wanted to help my fellow peers.”⁣
The Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum (UYAHF) is an organisation that seeks to⁣ improve the well-being and health of young people with an emphasis on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender equality.⁣
They recently started a project in the Kyegegwa district, where the Kyaka II refugee⁣ settlement is situated. This district has alarming numbers of child marriages and teenage⁣ pregnancies. Determined to do something about this, UYAHF recruited a highly motivated⁣ group of Change Champions. They are trained on various SRHR topics and go out to spread⁣ the word. This peer to peer approach can be the key in creating an empowered community⁣ where young people are aware of their options and make informed decisions.⁣
Their mentor is Winnie Apio (2nd photo), programme officer at UYAHF, whose inspiring⁣ energy makes her a true role model for the youngsters.⁣
#uyafh #srhr #genderequality #uganda #ucos #change⁣
#youthempowerment #refugeesettlement #kyaka
“We need to change the narrative. Trans women are women.”⁣⁣
Roderick Ssewanyana is one of the driving forces of the Come Out Post-Test Club (COPTEC). They’re an absolute embodiment of intersectionality, defending the rights of the minorities within the minorities. COPTEC is a community organization led by HIV-positive trans women, often with low incomes and working as sex worker. They’re fighting to make health services accessible for trans women, and create a safe space for those who feel left out.⁣⁣
Most of their members are intranational refugees, people from rural Uganda fleeing to Kampala to get access to health services, meet their peers and fully develop their own identity. ⁣⁣
#UforChange #Uganda #Kampala #gender #genderequality #LGBT #SRHR #humanrights #ucos⁣⁣
“I mind about self-reliance. You don’t support refugees by giving them just money, or food. You need to support them in the way they can take their own life at hand. And that’s also what refugees want.”⁣
Meet Robert Hakiza. Twelve years ago, he left Democratic Republic of Congo and found asylum in Kampala. He united other refugees in Kampala with the local Ugandans, resulting in the Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID). They focus on integrating newcomers into the society, the schooling system and the job market. ⁣
“You cannot keep refugees in this protracted situation. They’re spending ten, fifteen, twenty years in the settlements. But at the end of the day, they need to go out and change, and see what else they can do.”⁣
Women empowerment and SRHR are key elements of their programs. Their strategy is to include as many people as possible, and break down cultural taboos on gender issues step by step. ⁣
#yarid #ucos #uganda #change #refugee #humanrights #srhr #genderequality
🇺🇬 Uganda is often quoted as a global example for its refugee-hosting approach. As a result of⁣ its open-door policy, it has one of the highest refugee populations worldwide, hosting more⁣ than 1.2 million people fleeing South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and other⁣ neighbouring countries. Most of them seek asylum in one of the 11 settlements, where they⁣ get assigned a piece of land, as well as the right to freely move and the right to work.⁣
Many of these people are faced with a lot of challenges. Female refugees are among the⁣ most vulnerable people in Uganda, often having experienced gender-based violence or early⁣
pregnancies. And the infamous anti-homosexuality bill creates an often dangerous⁣ environment for LGBTQ+ refugees 🏳️‍🌈. Many of them leave the organized settlements and seek⁣ for peers in the urban network of Kampala.⁣
What makes Uganda so beautiful however, is the endless amount of people who are⁣ motivated to help improving their situations 💯. Often having to stay under the radar, they use⁣ all their means to provide services, create safe spaces, raise awareness and empower every⁣ individual to live up to their full potential.⁣ Stay tuned to get to know them! ❤️
#UforChange #Uganda #Kampala #gender #genderequality #LGBT #SRHR #migration⁣
#refugees #humanrights #ucos
Hasna introduced us to Mado, the mother of the Sub-Saharan community. She left Cameroon 20 years ago on the pursuit of a better life. In that 20 year period she has lived in multiple countries such as Libya, Algeria and Mali and crossed more borders than you can imagine. She also had to endure a lot hardship such as (sexual) violence, surviving in the desert and death of friends in the desert and having to bury them herself. However despite these inhumane obstacles she is now in Rabat considered as a mother, the go-to person for many new immigrants. Even in Cameroon Mado is known as the person with all the knowledge about how to survive as an immigrant in North Africa.⁣
She provides the sub-Saharan community with advice, shelter, financial and emotional support. Although she herself struggles at the end of the month, she never ceases to help her brothers and sisters in need. Because she understands the difficulties they face and believes it’s unjust. 
When we asked her what motivates her to help people while struggling herself, she answered “the heart”, and the fact that she cannot give up. Her number one advice to immigrants in Morocco is to never cross the ocean to reach Europe. She saw too many lives be taken by the ocean and she does not believe it is worth it. When in contact with the motherland she advises against people coming to Morocco, because of the harsh living conditions of a black person.⁣
The violent racism however, does not put her down, she keeps on fighting it. When we asked what Mado’s biggest wish was, she told us she wanted her story to be heard all over the world. She wanted people to know the struggles immigrants face on their journey to a better life and in their country of arrival. Knowing that her stories as a survivor of rape and testimonies about her time in the desert are not easy to tell nor to hear,  she still believes it is important for people to know that this is her reality.



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