We have new MenEngage secretariats in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda and Zambia


We are pleased to announce the appointment of Action Santé pour Tous Magara Yacu(AST) [Burundi], Action des volontaires pour la solidarité et le développement (DRC), Joy For Children Uganda, and Young Women in Action (Zambia) as new secretariats in their respective countries. The newly appointed secretaries will provide leadership and capacity building for all member organisations as they execute gender transformational work and engage men and boys in their respective networks.

We believe that the new secretariats will provide new energy into the country networks. “We are especially excited about the new secretariat in Zambia which is youth led organisation, indicating the trust and commitment of MEA to support and capacitate young people and their organisations” – says Mabel Sengendo Nabaggala, Regional Unit Manager (Programmes & Networks) at Sonke Gender Justice. 

MenEngage  Africa country networks works with men and boys on fatherhood campaigns, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Violence prevention, defending human rights and economic empowerment to make men part of the solution to end gender-based violence (GBV), promote women’s empowerment and attain true gender equality.

Action Santé pour Tous- MAGARA YACU, AST – Burundi

Action Santé pour Tous- MAGARA YACU (AST) is a non-profit organization approved under ministerial ordinance number 530/306 of February 28, 2012. It was created by doctors, nurses and psychologists with as objective of promoting the physical and mental health of the Burundian population and the sub-region and particularly the contribution to promoting the rights to health services among vulnerable groups.

 Action des volontaires pour la solidarité et le développement – DRC

Action des Volontaires pour la Solidarité et le Développement (AVSD) is a National Non-Governmental Organisation, non-profit with a social and humanitarian vocation for the respect and application of fundamental human rights; created on January 25, 2010 which was recognized in DR Congo as a non-governmental organization and obtained its official approval on February 31, 27, 2013. 

It has its national headquarters in Goma in the North Kivu Province of the DRC and since January 2010 it has opened a liaison office in walikale territory in Central Walikale as well as in Masisi territory in Kitshanga. 

AVSD is a national organization member of civil society or civil society organization living forces of the DRC and member of the clusters (Protection, Health, Education, Food Security …), AVSD is the facilitator of the Protection Sub-Cluster at WALIKALE and is a member of the various Working Groups (WG Monit de Prot., GT SSR, GTPE, VBG…) and registered with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) as a national humanitarian organization. AVSD is also a member of various platforms and/or networks such as CAFED (Collective of Women’s Associations for Development), MenEngage-DRC, CIVIL SOCIETY, Member of RACOJ/NORD-KIVU (Network of Youth Associations against AIDS) etc.  

 Joy For Children Uganda

Joy for Children-Uganda (JFCU) is a non-profit children’s rights organization established in 2005 to respond to the plight of vulnerable children in Uganda. Dedicated to working with children, families, and communities to end injustice to children. The organisation has the head office in Kampala and three field offices in Fort Portal, Kitgum, and Lira. JFCU advocates for and supports the rights and needs of children affected by all forms of violence and/or whose right to education has been denied. JFCU hosts Girls Not Brides Uganda is a National Partnership of 106 Civil Society Organizations committed to Ending Child Marriage and enabling girls to fulfill their potential. The Alliance aims at maximizing synergies with the core objective of bringing Child Marriage to National attention, build an understanding of what it will take to End Marriage and take proactive interventions aimed at combating Child Marriage through advocacy for stronger legislation, policy development and enforcement of the laws meant to project young girls and ensure that every girl can attain their full potential.

Young Women in Action (YWA) – Zambia 

Young Women in Action (YWA) is a not-for-profit, membership-based Non-Governmental Organisation established in 2002 to provide an enabling environment in which young women in Zambia can contribute towards their own empowerment and national development. The need to empower women came out of the realisation that young women faced a lot of challenges in being accorded equal opportunities to fully participate in decision making at family, community, organisational, and national levels. The intention was also to counter the practice of tailor making programmes for older people (the over 35) while leaving out the younger people. Even well-meaning programmes targeting women generally, have suffered from a form of age discrimination with priority being given to older women in the women’s movement. This led to an intergenerational gap which often manifested itself in problems of continuity in organisations when older women leave their positions. The reasons given for nonparticipation were that young women did not have the desired leadership skills, adequate knowledge and experience to take up higher positions and for them to articulate issues properly. It is for this reason that YWA was established to intervene so that such issues can be addressed in a strategical manner.

About MenEngage Africa 

MenEngage Africa is one of six continental members of the global MenEngage Alliance. Sonke is the Secretariat of MenEngage Africa (MEA), which consists of 22 country networks spread across East, West, Central and Southern Africa, which form the AGM – the highest decision-making body of MEA consisting of over 350 non-governmental organisations at grass-root, national and regional levels.

MEA members work collectively toward advancing gender justice, human rights and social justice in key thematic areas including Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), gender-based violence (GBV) & HIV prevention, Child Rights and Positive Parenting and in promoting peace on the continent.

The members implement joint advocacy programmes at national level with their governments, regional level with Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and at international levels at various platforms on the MEA thematic areas.

The alliance falls within the scope of Sonke’s Regional Programmes Unit, where staff within the unit work to support partner organisations across the 22 countries to implement work in the MEA campaign and thematic areas, build capacity for organisations to implement gender transformative work through community mobilisation and education, media and communications, policy advocacy and research.

Sonke’s role is to provide technical support to the networks on communications, advocacy, movement building, research and knowledge management.