In 2020, Sharon founded Vase Of Transformation, a Non- Governmental Organization that equips young people with knowledge, skills, and tools to lead and cascade change in their communities using Advocacy, Dialogue, Empowerment, and Art as building blocks for transformation. At VOT, we work with young people living in slums, impoverished communities, school dropouts, youth in schools, and teenage mothers through a diverse range of programs and services, each of which is tailored to the specific need of the target community or beneficiaries.
Soweto Slum Namuwongo, located on the outskirts of Kampala City, is a place where hope seems to be in short supply. For the residents of this neglected area, access to clean water, electricity, education, and basic hygiene facilities is a distant dream. High rates of crime and unemployment are the norm, and young people are forced to resort to desperate measures just to survive. But for one volunteer, her visit to Soweto would change her life forever.
Sharon, a young woman with a passion for making a difference, joined an NGO in 2018 as a volunteer. She quickly landed a full-time role within the organization and her role involved meeting people from various communities and building relationships to establish strategic partnerships. But it was her visit to Soweto in 2019 that would leave the deepest impression on her. She saw firsthand the dire living conditions faced by the residents and was moved to take action.
As she walked through the narrow streets of Soweto, she was struck by the poverty and neglect surrounding her. Waking up every morning in a house without clean water, electricity, and basic hygiene facilities was a reality for many of the residents. With high rates of unemployment and no access to education or quality medical care, the people of Soweto were trapped in a cycle of poverty and hopelessness.
But it wasn’t just the living conditions that left an impression on her. The children of Soweto, with no access to education, were forced to grow up too quickly. Many of the younger children were either playing cards or simply lounging, with no hope for their future. And the older ones, with no employment opportunities, turned to crime as a means of survival.
The women and girls of Soweto were particularly vulnerable. With no access to necessities like sanitary pads, many were forced to resort to prostitution to make ends meet for their families. And for the young girls, the future was even more uncertain. Many were exposed to violence, either at school or home and had no one to turn to for help.
Determined to make a difference, she visited one of the community outreach schools in Soweto. Together with a colleague, where they conducted a mini baseline survey to find the challenges girls from the community faced. The results were sobering. Five in ten girls were exposed to violence, two in ten were assaulted, and nine in ten lacked basic necessities like sanitary pads and school materials. She knew that she had to do more to empower the girls and women of Soweto. She wanted to provide them with the resources, training, and exposure they needed to break the cycle of poverty and violence.
She started a program that provided equitable resources, training, and exposure to girls in the community, and worked with local organizations to provide health education and livelihood support. This is her story, a tale of one woman’s journey from despair to empowerment, and her quest to bring hope to the people of Soweto.
Founder& Executive Director.
Richard Owusu Sekyere
Head, Partnerships and Grants Management
Chief Finance Officer
Roselyn Delase Davour
Social Media Manager
MHM Program Lead
Lanyero Robinah Gorret
Community Outreach Lead
Sserugo James Davis
Stepping Stones Lead
BIA Program Lead