Aged only 11, Jacqueline moved to Kampala where she was forced to become a sex worker.
Now 19 years of age, Jacqueline remembers the trauma she suffered:
I was 11 when I became a sex worker. A friend of my aunt told my mother she could find me a good job so I could finish my education.
“I thought the job was selling in a bar but I was wrong. I worked in a bar and as a sex worker.
For seven years, Jacqueline worked in the sex industry in Uganda’s capital city. “Younger girls were always in demand. The youngest girl who worked there was nine,” reveals Jaqueline.
They wanted girls who were young as their bodies were free from diseases such as HIV.
In 2015, Jaqueline heard about the PEVUS project, which was supported by Plan International.
The PEVUS Project works with young women to educate them on their rights and the importance of sexual health. It also provides tools to help them learn a skill or vocation so they can make money without having to sell their young bodies. Jacqueline, now a mum of one, adds:
I’m now a peer educator for PEVUS. I visit young girls who are engaged in sex work to tell them about the dangers of it.
As well as looking out for other young women, Jaqueline has also learnt a new trade – she’s training to become an electrician.
I chose electronics because no girls in our area are working as electricians. It’s easy, it saves time and it generates a lot of money. I can earn money without suffering.
“We used to live in the slum areas so we could sell our bodies to get money, but now we can repair televisions and earn money”