Rural Movement Initiative (RUMI)

Contact email
Who do you work with?

We are non-gender selective, 18 years above, young mothers, transgender commercial sex workers, LGBT persons. We educate them about their universal human rights and provide referrals. Our friends/partners are Transgender Equality Uganda, Ice Breakers Uganda, Sexual Minorities Uganda, Foundation for Transgender Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda.

How are sex workers involved in your organisation?

Much as we aren't 100% sex worker organisation, 30% of sex workers are on the secretariat. These help to forward to the board pressing issues about sex workers. Our total membership has at least 55% sex workers meaning that they are directly involved in decision making of the organisation.

Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?
Oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face

Our sex workers are denied access to health. Many suffer from curable diseases/infections because there are no clinics that are friendly to their work. This is because sex work is illegal in Uganda. Being remotely located, more than 3/4 of our sex workers don't know their fundamental human rights and therfore cannot defend themselves incase they are attacked/abused. Many are arrested and detained by police without any clear charges. The police then demand for sex or a bribe from them so that they can be bailed out.

Describe other areas of your work

Education: We established a nursery and primary school which supports orphans and other vulnerable children in the rural areas. We have classes from nursery to primary three. We run an artisan apprenticeship programme where we identify most at risk youths especially young and single mothers/parents and train them in short skills of their choice in tailoring, hairdressing or carpentry.
Economic empowerment of women: We mobilise and train women in village savings. They self manage their groups of 15-30 members, save money on a weekly basis and members can borrow with low interest.