"We will work together to ensure that the girls go off the streets."
KAMPALA - The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Katumba Wamala has called on the nation to team up and play a collective role in ending sexual exploitation in the country.
This was at Rahab Uganda's celebration of 10 years of rehabilitating and empowering the sexually exploited girl child at Sheraton Kampala Hotel.
The day also saw the change of the board leadership with Keturah Kamugasa, Vision Group Magazines editor, replacing Jackie Byaruhanga as the board chairperson.
"I was called to Rahab because they wanted a fatherly figure for these children," said Wamala.
"They wanted a figure of a man that will change the perception of these girls towards men. A figure that will help them look at man differently from that beastlike figure that mistreated them. It was a good interaction and I have never looked back."
Wamala is greeted by Vision Group chief executive Robert Kabushenga
The army chief is the patron of the association.
"At times we believe that we need to start big projects with money but what we need is having a heart. If all of us had good hearts, then there would be no more sexual exploitation of girl children," he said.
On her part, new chairperson Kamugasa promised to continue with the fight against girl child exploitation.
"We will work together to ensure that the girls go off the streets. We are all broken vessels but most people do not want to be near these broken vessels, they start calling them names and walking away from them but they need a life. That is what I promise to do," she said inside the Rwenzori ballroom.
Some of the girls that have been reached by Rahab Uganda attended the function.
Other such girls, according to their website, have been resettled with capital and others are still undergoing rehabilitation.
The Rahab Uganda board was introduced to the audience
Kamugasa said that her time working with these girls has brought a new dimension in her as they have shown them boldness, courage and fearless.
"I now understand what it means to be broken, to be used, abused and thrown away," she said.
"And this is what we, the board, and all others have to work on to ensure that we try to put the broken pieces of these girls together so that they become better citizens."
Rahab's executive director, Annette Kirabira said their project of taking the girl child back to school has already started yielding results, with others graduating.
"We are proud that we are seeing a bright future and the children are changing. It is not easy but with the help of different partners, we are achieving it."
Some of the girls that were reached by Rahab attended the function
Rahab Uganda was celebrating 10 years since its existence and the function was well-attended