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Acfode hosts women to candle-lit evening

As everyone prepared to travel to Kumi district for the national celebrations of International Women's day, Action for Development (Acfode), a women's rights organization, hosted activists at Garden City's BodaBoda lounge for a story-reading and candlelight dinner.

Guests who turned up for the event last Thursday were kept waiting for several hours as women and girls told life stories of how they suffered in one way or another.

Many of the stories had either been published in Acfode's Power of the Pen newsletter or by Femrite (Uganda Women Writers Association) and were thus not as captivating as poet Jason Ntaro's poem Sweeping the Streets.

Ntaro wrote the poem specifically for this dinner. It was conceived from a story of a girl; now a student of psychology at Cavendish University, who ran away from her home to escape untold beatings and sexual harassment from her father.

"We had just finished a recital [at National Theatre] when this girl appeared. She told us her story and our group [Lantern Meet of Poets] decided to help her," Ntaro told The Observer.

At Cavendish, she is reasonably supported by Ntaro's group.

"We want her to learn that things don't come easy. We don't want her to get so much. She has to learn to live within her means," Ntaro said. He did not, however, reveal the girl's identity.

The night's chief guest; Gender and Social Development Minister Mary Karooro Okurut did not show up, but sent Mbarara Woman MP Emma Boona.


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