Somero Uganda is an organization started by young people living and staying in the slums of Kawempe division, Kampala District Uganda.
We are a grassroots organisation founded in 2009, following the death of a young girl called Nalubega (17 years). She was among the many young girls involved in commercial sex in the area. She suddenly committed suicide due to HIV/AIDS stigmatization by community members and unbearable sexual reproductive health challenges she faced.
In 2010, Somero was registered as a community based organisation involved in community education and awareness rising on social and health matters targeted at commercial sex workers in the programme catchment area. The main aim of the organization was to save and prevent many more vulnerable young girls engaged in commercial sex from following the same path that Nalubega took, leading to her demise.
In 2015, Somero transformed into a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) in order to widen its mandate to serve a wider catchment area. Today the organization has expanded on its programmatic areas to include key socio-transformation activities for children, young women and their male counterparts. We operate a community centre in the slums of Kawempe division with a youth corner which implements projects on HIV/AIDS prevention care and support, Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH), drug abuse prevention, counselling and career guidance, child marriages, commercial sex exploitation, child labour, child trafficking and provides information on employment opportunities, global education among others;
We have an employable skills development department which provides both modern vocational skills in IT and digitalised traditional skills and we have set up a business unit to provide entrepreneurship skills to the beneficiaries of our employable skills development program so that they impact the community at large. A children’s corner supports the children of the young mothers as the young mothers attend the employable skills classes. We run education programs with local and global schools to promote a safe school environment that vulnerable children can stay in schools. Our education program also supports young mothers to ensure that they continue with their education.
Why girls and young women?
Ugandan girls and young women living in the slums belong to the most vulnerable groups of society. They often have been denied school education due to the unfriendly schools environment and family responsibilities. Therefore they have to earn their living in the informal service sector, where they are at risk of being exposed to sexual exploitation and violence.
Somero Uganda regards itself as a key actor in implementing some of the government’s proposed guidelines on socio-economic and health interventions for girls and young women by linking national concerns to local interventions built on capacities and resources of youth themselves. A strong peer-to-peer network is the backbone of Somero.
A Uganda where children and young women 10-25 years achieve meaningful education and training needed for a self-determined and self-sustaining life to act as agents of social change with full community support.
We strive to offer specific education programs, life skills development and health promotion among slum girls and young women in order to improve their conditions of living and rehabilitation as well as to promote education and the protection of their human rights in their communities.
Our core values are the fundamental principles and standards to which we adhere. They reflect our rich and diverse organisational history, our culture, and our identity. These values are integrity, engagement and empowerment, education support, students’ participation, gender sensitivity and community involvement.
In and out of school marginalised children and young women between the ages of 10-25 including:
Commercial sexual workers
The Young mothers
Women affected by drugs
Girls in early marriage