Plan International is helping underage sex workers in Uganda turn their lives around.
An estimated 54,000 girls, who are under 18, are currently being forced into sex work in Uganda, Plan International Australia‘s Deputy CEO Susanne Legena said.
“Lured by false promises of education and good jobs, many girls are trafficked to Uganda’s capital city, Kampala. Others are escaping poverty, sexual abuse or child marriage,” Ms Legena said.
The work gets them as little as $3 per client, with higher rates for not using a condom.
Many of the young sex workers fall pregnant and babies are born to unknown fathers.
Plan International has now set up nurseries for these children, with 1000 children currently benefiting from childcare.
In addition, their mothers and other young women caught up in the sex industry can enrol in a free year-long course that includes knitting, hairdressing, baking, electronics and business management.
Former sex worker, Hawa*, has now opened her own beauty salon after completing the skills training course. Plan International have filmed her story.
Plan International’s film tells Hawa’s story. (Post continues after video).
The project coined Partnership for Empowerment of Vulnerable girls and Women in Urban Slums (PEVUS), has enabled Hawa to become a “family breadwinner”. She now takes care of her siblings and parents and aims to grow her business to train other girls.
“Plan International is helping girls out of the sex industry by giving them skills to become independent and to follow their own path. Our PEVUS project is currently helping sex workers aged 13 to 24-years-old in the Kawempe slum in Kampala,” Ms Legena said.