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Uzima Women Relief International Organization

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Uzima Women Relief International Organization
By: Jonathan Annobil, Toronto ON
Jacobet E. Wambayi, Executive Director, UZIMA
JACOBET E. WAMBAYI
Executive Director, UZIMA

UZIMA:
Uzima Women Relief Group
International was founded in 2012 by the current Executive Dire Jacobet E. Wambayi. In 2007 she was appointed to the Ministerial Advisory Council on HIV & AIDS. The Council advises the Federal Minister of Health on the Federal Initiative on HIV & AIDS.


UZIMA VALUES:
Respect, Accountability, Integrity, Honesty
Uzima Women Relief Group International 1s a non-profit organization incorporated in 2012. Uzima is a Kiswahili word meaning wellness. The organization works to alleviate poverty and augment wellness among at-risk populations facing health challenges brought about by lack of access to better economic opportunities. Also, Uzima focuses on medical care and medicines, good nutrition, and education for both women and men with a focus on women empowerment.

OBJECTIVES:
• To advance education and relieve poverty of Black (racialized) community members in the Toronto area by providing employment-related workshops and training on resume writing, job interview preparation, job skills training, mentoring programs, and job placement assistance.

• To relieve poverty and advance education in agricultural and farming techniques, and kitchen garden training to poor women in rural communities.

HISTORY
Before the outbreak of Covid 19 Pandemic, Uzima Women Relief International Organization conducted an intensive study in 2017 on "Investigating experiences and health concerns of female genital mutilation among African Women in Toronto, focusing on both women of African descent with and no experiences (such as people who lived with people with FGM) of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and how their health can be improved through education. Since then, Uzima continued to work and advocating for these vulnerable population.

CSJ 2021, UZIMA
CSJ 2021, Uzima
In addition, Uzima office location at 100 Consilium Place, made it possible for her to works closely with marginalized communities addressing issues affecting the most vulnerable members particularly seniors, women and youth ensuring that people are not subjected to discrimination, oppression, violence, and poor health.

The study revealed a need for more education and awareness to effectively deal with the physical, psychological, and social effects of FGM/C. Women living with FGM were already socially isolation due to the stigma associated with FGM/C. & then comes the COVID-19 pandemic. The complete shut­ down affected not Uzima economically but most especially the clients and the vulnerable seniors. They missed Uzima support groups due to social distancing. Hence, increase on mental health due to COVID 19 e.g. (depression and anxiety).

Uzima staff during the covid 19 pandemic lockdown continue to do their official work from home online, phone, zoom, yet continued to work with the seniors and women, delivering groceries and advocating for vaccines in collaboration with other agencies such as the Red Cross. They continue distribution of covid-19 safety kits e.g., face mask, sanitizers, hand gloves etc. Educational workshops were conducted via zoom to enable educate them on safety mechanism.

Now with slow opening of businesses, Uzima continue to work with these vulnerable senior population. Our office is opened to strictly very few numbers of staff daily. Yet continue to work with the seniors via zoom and meet during groceries distribution. Uzima has devise some policies and changes in the system regarding that. This is help both staff and clients stay safe when they are back to work.

Uzima have change its workspace e,g, few chairs, more space and distance from each other. There are also behavioral changes, such as avoiding shaking hands, hugging, avoiding meeting practice. Cleaning practice such as using of disinfectant frequently. Mask and face covering.to protect both staff and clients during office hours and visits.

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By: Jonathan Annobil, Toronto ON
By: Jonathan Annobil, Toronto ON---
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