ActionAid hosted the British Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict (PSVI), Her Excellency, Baroness Anelay.Ms. Anelay visited Bwaise Gender Based Violence Shelter to see first-hand the support provided by the UK on preventing sexual violence, strengthening human rights and delivering humanitarian aid.
Accompanied by the British High Commissioner in Uganda and the DFID Country Representative, Ms Anelay was received by the Country Director of ActionAid, Mr Arthur Larok, the Programs Director, Ms Harriet Gimbo, Community leaders, representatives from partner organisations and GBV survivors. Speaking during the visit, Ms Anelay said that she was delighted to have the opportunity to visit the shelter and see first-hand the work of the UK in tackling sexual violence and support to survivors of these atrocious crimes.
Am particularly excited about the involvement of community leaders in the work to end Gender Based violence. That is impressive”, she remarked.
Ms Anelay also listened to a testimony from one of the GBV survivors, Asia Kigongo. Asia told a tale of her experience with GBV and how she was supported to attain total healing.
I thank ActionAid and the people from UK for restoring my dignity. After my healing, the Shelter extended to me capital to start up a business. I have healed, I have a peace of mind and am economically empowered”, she said as Ms Anelay smiled and clapped at her milestone.
Mr Arthur Larok, AAU’s Country Director stated that Asia is one of the thousands of Women and children that the 10 GBV shelters have supported to attain healing, empowerment and freedom from GBV.
We are grateful to the UK for not only being a friend but a close partner in our struggle against GBV. We shall continue to work together on shared challenges and opportunities”, he said.
Ms Anelay and other guests were then taken on a tour of the shelter. As she was taken through the different rooms and processes that the GBV clients are taken through, she remarked that her visit came at an important time when eliminating GBV tops the agenda of the UK Government.
Preventing sexual violence, ending the culture of impunity and ending survivor stigma remain top priorities for the UK. I am proud of this shelter and the nine others that I have not been able to visit”, she said.
And as her visit quickly came to an end, Ms Anelay took off time to admire the beautiful crafts that are made by survivors of GBV. She also bought a few items to support the women. And as she bid farewell to her hosts, the writing was on the wall that Ms Anelay was amazed at the impact of the work on ground.
Thank you for hosting me and keep up the great work”, she said.