As we settle into 2016, we couldn’t be more grateful for the accomplishments and the lessons that 2015 brought along.
We partnered with many wonderful organizations, started another women-only fitness space in Bugoloobi and embarked on important projects like Holistic Rehabilitation Project for inmates of Luzira Women’s prison. Our largest achievement was hosting 7 personal safety and self defense camps last year. They were everything we expected and more!
Gender oppression is a threat to women’s mental and physical wellness. It is pervasive all over the world. Last year taught us that strategic, intentional and meaningful work is the only way to break these oppressions down and have lasting impact.
Personal Safety and Self Defense Camps for Women and Girls
For the 16 Days of Activism against Gender based violence, we held four Personal Safety Camps in partnership with the US Mission to Uganda. Our targets were women in and around Kampala who fit into the following categories: university women, corporate women, sex workers, adolescents and sexual minorities. Activities included yoga, sharing, counselling as well as emotional and physical self defense sessiona. We emphasized the fact that abuse is not just physical. It can be psychological and emotional too!
Our aim is to teach personal safety in a conscious way, one that doesn’t make women feel like the burden of defending themselves falls solely on them. It is a long term project, one that will culminate in us creating support clubs in universities all over Uganda.
Holistic Rehabilitation Project
We’re fiercely passionate about all women. More must be done to ensure that their rehabilitation of our prison population is successful. Through this project, we engage, inspire, positively influence, share information with the women in Uganda’s prison system.
This project was successfully launched in August 2015. Our 3 day workshop included dance-aerobics, yoga, sharing with Ronald Tumwebaze (an ex-con turned lawyer), financial management classes, legal clinics and sessions about transitioning from the prison system.
Our partners were Tumaini, Success Chapter Uganda and the US Mission to Uganda.
Personal Safety Workshop for Sex Workers in Kasese (our very first!)
Because this was our first camp, we were thoroughly schooled. We left Kampala with a curriculum that we didn’t use because the stories from the 31 participants, their needs and the environment we found demanded more nuance and understanding on our side. Sex work is as old as time itself and yet it remains the least respected and one of the most dangerous professions. We are committed to working with sex workers through their organizations to create lasting solutions to their problems and to increase their levels of well-being and progression.
New Women-only Gym
In addition to our Bukoto gym, we launched a new space in Bugolobi. We want to make our services accessible to as many women as possible in Uganda, so we plan to open as many as possible around the country.
In June, we were invited to the launch of Crevit Mulier in Uganda. This is a women’s membership networking society for young people. Naturally, we were only too glad to accept the invite. We also got the chance to facilitate at the event on the following topics: fearless entrepreneurship, self love and body ownership.
Go Girl Conference
The Go Girl Conference was yet another opportunity to be part of an event to work with young girls. We were part of a powerful line-up. The Conference aimed to empower girls with life, social and leadership skills. At the conference, our manager at the time, Chernene, led an interactive talk about emotional self defense.
At the Mama Cash organized Bodies Unbound Conference held in Kampala in August, 30 teenage feminists gathered for five days where, through conversations, games, movies and self defense, the girls interrogated and resisted the ways through which society puts restrictions on their female bodies. It was a powerful experience and definitely one of our favorite conferences to have been a part of.
Sure Start Mifumi
We are such fans of the work that Mifumi is doing with Sure Start and in general. So when we were invited to facilitate a yoga and self defense segment at their Sure Start camp in August, we were only too glad to accept. At Sure Start, we facilitated classes on patriarchy, design thinking and sisterhood to a group of brilliant bad-ass girls. This is what we live for.
LGBT Activist Retreat
The work of LGBT activism can be dangerous and emotionally draining. PAL’s Activist Retreat is a necessary initiative that provides activists with a safe space to practice self-care.
We hosted this retreat for the second year running!
MEMPROW Feminist Leadership Training
It’s always a pleasure when our people work with MEMPROW . 2015 saw us work with them twice: at their Feminist Leadership Training at Kyambogo University and at St. Kizito S.S where we held an emotional self defense session for adolescent girls. They were also involved in making Bodies Unbound a success in Uganda!
We don’t need validation to motivate us to do our work but we won’t lie, being recognized by media-both locally and internationally gave us a big emotional boost! We are happy to say that CNN was with us last week, talking to our clients and understanding our mission for the Africa Start-Ups segment. We are a hotbed of self-love and personal power!
Our dreams are valid, you guys! Read the stories that were told:
A huge shout out to the people who formed our team last year! Your hard work propelled FitcliqueAfrica to where it is today. To our partners and sponsors, we cannot thank you enough for believing in us and helping us make our vision for 2015 a reality. To our clients and well wishers, we are eternally gratefully for your support. We promise to keep our eye on the prize and to do our best.
Visit our women-only fitness spaces in Bugoloobi and Bukoto and dont forget to pour coconut oil all over 2016: