Group photo of Women HRDs with Dr Linda Birungi

Self-care, well being and collective healing a must for WHRDs.

Caption: Group photo of Women HRDs with Dr Linda Birungi.

The WHRDNU held a workshop for 14 WHRDs regional focal person representatives from different sub regions namely Acholi, Lango, Karamoja, Kigezi, Albertine, Rwenzori, Ankole, Busoga, Bagisu, Teso, Sebei, Bukedia, Budama, Bunyoro and rural Buganda under the theme “Promoting a culture of activism rooted in practices of self-care, mutual support and well-being” on 13th – 14th August 2020.

The workshop kicked off with the WHRDNU secretariat welcoming the participants and thanking them for attending the workshop. The objective was reiterated which was to provide a platform and process for WHRDs to deal with emotional and physical trauma and begin to prioritize their own well-being as a personal act. She further mentioned that the workshop is for them to reflect, relax, learn and enjoy. She invited them to feel free since this was a free space for all of them to network and commiserate with each other.

The WHRDs raised several challenges they faced repeatedly which include but are not limited to: Heavy workloads, stress and fatigue, family issues, financial instability, marital problems, personal frustrations and anxiety of what next in life. There was a counselor from Healing Talk Services who encouraged the WHRDs to seek out counseling services at least once a month and also engage in group counseling which reduces the stress of feeling lonely, overwhelmed and individually exposed.

Burden sharing was one of the activities that was done to help the WHRDs unpack the loaded up feelings of fatigue, bitterness and burn-outs that may affect their Human Rights work if not dealt with. A facilitator from Fitclique Africa helped address the several burdens that the WHRDs shared during the session by giving them tips on planning out an entire week and saving some funds to reduce on the stress of unpreparedness and distractions that come because of lack of proper planning.

Healing and care with medical and health practices was one of the sessions that shed light on  reproductive health, health risks, and best health practices for WHRDs. Dr. Linda Birungi a gynecologist at Reproductive Health Uganda enlightened the WHRDs about their reproductive health, family planning and menstrual periods. She also advised the ladies to go for cervical cancer screening every after 3 years for those who don’t have HIV/AIDS and every year for those with it.

The self-care, well-being and collective healing workshop ended on a high note with the WHRDs appreciating the help and self-love practices they received and promised to incorporate them into their daily life.  A new culture of activism that is rooted in practices of self-care and mutual support was also launched as a necessary condition of women’s movements in Uganda.

Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda group photo

Wellness And Self Care Healing For Women Human Rights Defenders In Uganda

The Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda, with support from Urgent Action Fund For Africa organised a  4 (four) day Self Care, Wellbeing and Collective Healing Capacity building Workshop for two groups of Women Human Rights Defenders Thematic Action groups. The first workshop comprising of representatives of the thematic working groups run from August 11th-12th 2020, and the second group comprised of regional focal persons, run from 13th-14th August 2020 at Eureka Place Hotel Ntinda.

Self Care and Collective Healing

The workshop was aimed at creating a relaxed and soothing environment where Women Human Rights Defenders would focus on their well being and come together to collectively heal from all the trauma and stress that comes along with their work.

Women HRDs read Self Healing and Wellness messages
Women HRDs read Self Healing and Wellness messages


Messages of encouragement, self belief and self love were re-echoed by the Women Human Rights Defenders to collectively heal together as they talked about dealing with trauma. It is important to heal one self before helping others, is what they unanimously agreed to while listening to each others stories.




Reproductive Health

Dr Linda Birungi, a gynecologist from Reproductive Health Uganda led sessions discussing sexual reproduction, family planning and best health practices. Health risks and dangers like cervical and breast cancer were discussed at length to ensure Women Human Rights defenders seek treatment and help before developing complications while working.

Wellness and Healing

Mildred Apenyo, a woman’s rights activist and C.E.O of Flitclique Africa , an organization empowering and creating safe spaces for women, conducted therapy and relaxation sessions with Women HRDs to release fatigue from their bodies. Candles, ornaments, yoga and exercises were some of the tools and routines they were taken through as part of their healing.


A masseuse was also invited to massage and sooth body muscles to release any kind of stress and fatigue on the body. A healthy body is a healthy mind, so it is important for Women Human Rights Defenders to have healthy bodies to continue with their work without difficulty.

Practical Self Care & Mutual Support

The workshop was concluded by officially launching a new culture of activism that is rooted in Practical Self-Care and mutual support as a necessary condition of Women’s movement in Uganda.

Launch of a new culture of activism that is rooted in Practical Self-Care and mutual support as a necessary condition of Women's movement in Uganda.
Launch of a new culture of activism that is rooted in Practical Self-Care and mutual support as a necessary condition of Women’s movement in Uganda.