Alexandra Burke Sees Inspiring Work In Uganda26th November 2011
During a recent trip to Uganda, pop sensation Alexandra Burke saw firsthand how Comic Relief and the UK Government are working together to help change lives through their joint Common Ground Initiative.
With money raised by the British public for Comic Relief and financial support from the UK government, the Common Ground Initiative funds projects that are set up and run by people in the UK who have strong African heritage. It’s they who best understand the difficulties their communities face and the local, traditional and cultural factors which can influence the solutions to those problems.
The 2008 X Factor winner spent time with a project called Mifumi which has received funding through the Common Ground Initiative. It works tirelessly to support survivors of domestic violence and, given that up to 68% of women in Uganda are expected to have experienced violence, Mifumi’s work is crucial.
Throughout her trip, Alexandra was deeply moved and inspired by the many women she met who have been supported through the project. One survivor, 37 year old Mary spoke of her husband’s violent outbursts and how she was in fear of her life. Mifumi helped her get to safety and she now receives on-going support through one of Mifumi’s 21 domestic violence advice centres. She also teaches other survivors how to make clothes so that they can support themselves rather than rely on their violent husbands.
Alexandra said, ‘Meeting these brave women, and seeing Mufumi’s incredible work, has been so inspiring. These women aren’t victims, they are empowered to improve their own lives and support other survivors to break free from domestic violence too. Mifumi knows the difficulties faced by so many women here and they’ll do everything they can to help. It’s been a privilege to see how Comic Relief and UK Aid are supporting projects like this to make a real difference.’
The 23 year old singing star saw how Mifumi works at all levels to support domestic violence survivors. Not only do they provide a safe house (where women arrive having fled their homes) and on-going counselling and support, they also help women to earn an income and work with the police to see the perpetrators of abuse brought to justice. Additionally, they campaign for changes in the law to protect women at risk of abuse at home.
The Executive Director of Mifumi, Atuki Turner was born and raised in Uganda before moving to The UK and her knowledge of the region helps the project to operate in the most effective way possible. She explained, ‘Through understanding this community, and the needs of the people living here, we can target the poorest and most vulnerable women. We understand how best to reach them and how we can help them to rebuild their lives.’
Alexandra visited just one of the many projects supported by Comic Relief and the UK government through the Common Ground Initiative. Find out more right here.