U.K. celebrity Stacey Solomon visited Kampala, Uganda, March 5 and 6 with U.K. charity Comic Relief to meet women living in the Ki-Mombasa slum of Kawempe District and then participated in an integrated community outreach event held by The Challenge Initiative and the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).
Selected by Comic Relief to serve as its family planning champion, Solomon is one of the UK’s most popular and beloved TV personalities. She currently is a panelist on ITV1’s Loose Women and a sought-after brand ambassador. Solomon and the Comic Relief team met with Nubuwati, mother of seven children and grandmother to three. Nubuwati’s two teenage daughters are already having children of their own. They all live in a tiny one-room shack and struggle to get by on one meal a day. Nubuwati is also among the women targeted by the Initiative’s integrated community outreach event that took place March 5-6 at the edge of the Ki-Mombasa slum.
“One mum I met, Nubuwati, has seven children and three grandchildren and she’s only 32 years old. She doesn’t want any more children and until now, hasn’t had any access to family planning,” said Solomon. “Seeing Nubuwati get the help she desperately wanted with The Challenge Initiative was incredible, especially as she brought her two teenage daughters along to try and stop the cycle in her family. It’s amazing to think that they can now live the life they want.”
More than 700 community members attended the outreach event, which offered a variety of health services including family planning, cervical cancer screening and HIV screening. Sixty-six of the 453 women who attended received a family planning method, including Nubuwati – who opted for tubal ligation – and one of her daughters.
Representatives from the Initiative’s city partner – KCCA – welcomed Solomon and the Comic Relief team. They included the deputy mayor, town clerk and Dr. Isaiah Chebrot, Kawempe Division Medical Officer.
The Comic Relief team documented the entire experience through interviews, photographs and filming and released a fundraising video on Monday, March 12, to coincide with Mother’s Day in the U.K. on Sunday, March 11. Comic Relief is supporting the Initiative with a $3-million donation that will result from its biannual fundraising effort March 17-23 in the U.K. called Sport Relief, where it will raise awareness of the Initiative and family planning, among a number of other social causes.