Creating change: stopping the cycle of sex work

Harriet Kamashanyu, from Rhythm of Life, speaking to Anna Leach

“I grew up in Namuwongo, a suburb of Kampala next to a red light district and my best friend’s mother was a sex worker. I’ll always remember what my friend, Resty, went through to seek medication for her mother. She was rejected at every hospital and then her mum passed away. Resty had to look after her younger siblings so she went into the same line of work. We lost touch but I’m praying that one day we will meet again. She was made me what I am today. Her story inspired me to start Rhythm of Life.

We work in two red light districts in Uganda helping HIV-positive female sex workers to access healthcare and their daughters to access education to break the cycle of mother-to-daughter prostitution. We have got five girls into education so far, two in primary school and three in secondary school.

There are 500 to 1,000 women working in these districts every night, some as young as 15. According to The Lancet, 37% are HIV positive, and because they don’t prioritise HIV testing they transfer the the virus to their children.”

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Source: The Guardian