The Zonta Club of Melbourne sponsors young girls with the Uganda Project

The Zonta Club of Melbourne, Florida in 2018 expanded our outreach to another continent. We partnered with Confidence Eliminates Bullying, Inc. 501c3, and provided funding for nine (9) scholarships for young girls in Uganda, Africa. Many of the young girls do not study beyond secondary schooling and child marriage seemed like the only option. Each scholarship ($300 each) provides a young girl the opportunity to attend a boarding school, food, uniforms, supplies, exams, and program fees for one full year.

This opportunity empowers young girls to say NO to child marriages and learn to respect themselves and their bodies. They have now been able to document a decrease in the dropout rate of 66.4%. The TAG for Change method is now in over 54 schools and 21 churches impacting 79,981 children teachers, parents, grandparents, and pastors. Schools and churches are now more self-sustaining. 

Marty Ward on her first trip to Uganda in March 2018, saw women and children gathering water to drink from parasite ridden puddles. Ms. Ward vowed to find a way to get clean water to school. She created a Water Filter Initiative and brings water filters on every trip. Her most recent trip in March 2020 she succeeded in raising enough funding to bring 50 water filters and installed a rainwater catchment system at a school. Tens of thousands of children now have access to 300 gallons of clean water daily for the next 10 years.

When speaking to these young girls she has added depth to her crusade in speaking to men about treating women with respect and dignity. She speaks on ending female mutilation and dowries for brides. Men see the dowry as, "I paid for you," and many feel they can beat their women. She was able to have men promise that they would not ask for a dowry for their daughters! One bishop demonstrated that he was rethinking how to treat women by serving the group lunch and not having the women be the servers!

Currently, they are 27 children are attending school. The Zonta Club of Melbourne would like to challenge other clubs to sponsor young girls for this endeavor. Here is the link to view the outreach