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Friday, December 18, 2015

THE STRUGGLE TO PREVENT VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN CONTINUES IN THE KASESE DISTRICT


participants attentively listening to what should be done to prevent violence against children

Despite the prevailing laws and conventions on the rights of the child, children have remained the most vulnerable and marginalized group in the world and Uganda in particular. Violence against children is bred by society, adults, family members and peers at school and community level. Violence can be physical, emotional, economic, sexual; and psychological (SCIU 2005), it also includes child abuse in form of beating, tying, burning, corporal punishments, and denial of food, school fees, cloths and shelter. Girls and boys suffer different forms of violence.  Girls are faced with sexual violence, denial of a good health environment to meet their sexual reproductive needs like sanitary facilities access to health and education, while boys are faced with physical violence in form of corporal punishments by adults.


Mr.Murugahara John giving the project overview

Following the above background, Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence (RWECO) with support from the East African Children Fund (EAFC) has come up with a project “Community-led Mechanisms to Prevent Violence Against Children and Adolescents”. The project aims at curbing down the vice through a community-led approach through economic empowerment of women, strengthening capacity of school management committees living within the school environment



The project will be implemented by the RWECO member organizations of Rwenzori Information Centres Network (RIC-NET), Karambi Action Life Improvement (KALI), Democracy Link- Africa (RIDE-AFRICA), Good Hope Foundation for Rural Development (GHFRD) and Kasese Guide Radio to do all the media activities. This pilot project is targeting eight sub-counties of Karambi, Kitholhu, Nyakiyumbu, Kisinga, Karusandara, Maliba, Kitswamba and Katwe Kabatooro town council and 16 schools selected from each of these sub-counties in Kasese district. RIC-NET as a partner organization was given the schools of Kanyatsi, Karambi, Kyabikere and Kamasasa primary schools to operate in.
"Education is every child's right" he cries out loud
It is upon that background that RICNET held a joint sensitization meeting on 17th Nov.2015 at Bwera Teachers College about violence against children for headteachers, PTA, school management committees, senior women and masters of the schools of Karambi, Kamasasa, Kanyatsi and Kyabikere primary schools as the area of operation for the project. The area inspector of schools Mr. Biryande. M. Edson and the C.D.O Kitholhu sub county Mr. Mukokoma Bwambale Paul also attended the meeting.
 PTA member gives his views about violence against children
A brief definition of violence was given to give the subject matter of the project and to allow the participants think more about the vice. Among other things discussed were the forms, causes, and effects violence such as physical, emotional, psychological, child neglect, spiritual a result of Persistence of cultural beliefs, Poverty, over dependency on single bread winner which end in Poor academic, Death, Body deformity, Chronic Depression among others respectively.The inspector of schools Mr.Edson pointed out his desire to improve the education sector of Kasese. He further added saying school should not be a place of torture to the children but a place of joy to the children because it is a learning place whereas the C.D.O Kitholhu sub county strongly condemned violence and stressed that defilement is a health hazard to the children. In his speech, Mr. Mukokoma said to abolish violence against children should be everyone's responsibility.
C.D.O explaining how bad violence against children is
The discussion was so interactive where teachers from different schools shared their experiences and ideas among which include; special counselor teachers should be employed specifically to give counseling to children, sex education should be provided to children to prepare them into responsible adults, teachers should take note of the violent characters in their pupils and find the appropriate ways of correcting them, teachers should make school the best place for the children to be and opening of term parents meeting should be held in each schools to teach the parents what to do in abide to prevent violence against children among others. The meeting ended successfully, teachers and the government officials appreciated and welcomed the project while willing to work hand in hand with NGOs to kick the vice out of Uganda.
Some of the acts being decampaigned by Rweco through the project

Friday, December 11, 2015

U-REPORTERS MARK THE 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM



ANASI farmers association a community based organization operating in Kisinga sub-county together with some U-reporters in Kisinga marked the end of the 16 days of activism against gender based violence for 2015 in the world with  neighborhood assembly meeting.  With  the theme “From peace in a home to peace in the world: make education safe for all”. 
The local theme was a discussion onHow marriages is a leading cause to gender based violence”
particpants who attended the assembly
This assembly was attended by about 70 people and was chaired by the sub-county woman councilor Mrs. Topista kisuki who gave the subject matter of the theme of the day to prepare the rest of the participants to think on how marriage has caused gender based violence. Of the people who attended the assembly were religious leaders, local government officials, media personnels, CSOs, Baita Benjamin (ex-politician) and the minister of gender in the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu Mr. Mbayahi Gad.


Different speakers gave different causes of gender based violence in relation to marriage and how marriage has led to gender based violence.
During the assembly
In his presentation, Mr. Mbayahi Gad said gender based violence is as old as creation. He went ahead to explain that the whole root cause of violence is poor communication between two parties that leads to pulling of ropes thus violence. Other causes of gender based violence as raised by the people were; too much bride price that has made women be taken for property not human beings, cultural decadence, producing single sex children in a home breeds gender based violence, extreme jealousy in a marriage,
Child early marriages. Child brides often suffer emotional pressure from their families, husbands and in-laws limiting their ability to make decisions about their own lives and bodies among others.
To end all this violence among the people, Rwenzori Information Centres Network, called upon the people to uphold the U-report platform of making their voices heard for free by just texting JOIN and send to 8500.


Monday, November 30, 2015

A BOOK LAUNCH ON YOUTH AND PUBLIC POLICY IN UGANDA




83%  youths are unemployed
Youth problems remain a serious policy challenge in many sub-Saharan African countries, including Uganda. In 2013, youth (aged 15 to 24) in sub-Saharan Africa were twice likely to be unemployed compared to any other age cohort. For Uganda, in 2012, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics revealed that the share of unemployed youth (national definition, 18-30 years) among the total unemployed persons in the country was 64 percent. Given the rapid growth of the Ugandan population—three-quarters of the population are below the age of 30 years—coupled with the fact that the youth are getting better educated through higher access to primary and secondary education, a stronger focus on job creation for this cohort of people cannot be overemphasized.
Launching the book addressing youth issues
In order to bring the youth on board and to awaken them from sleep so as to turn them from hopeless brats to useful Ugandans, RIC-NET in collaboration with Society for International Development (SID) on 26th Nov. 2015 launched an eight-chaptered book entitled YOUTH AND PUBLIC POLICY IN UGANDA at cornerstone Hotel in fort portal addressing the issues of the youth among which include; unemployment, poverty and ignorance. This book was compiled by sitting down with the youth to identify the youth problems, that were put together to come up with the eight chapters of the book. Among those who attended the launch were University Guild Governments of mountains of the moon university, Uganda Pentecostal University, Kabarole District Information Officer Mr.Kobwemi Tanazious, youth leaders and civil society staffs, police among others who discussed a lot in regards to the findings of the book such as; youth being harassed by police when they are trying to demand for their rights, government only concentrating on the youth in urban centres and neglecting those in rural areas where the largest population lies, inadequate information to the youth, youth electoral caters for gender neglecting the youth, neglect of people with disabilities  and on other hand laziness was cited out to be a vice eating up the youth.
Mr.Muzinduki Patrick responding to issues raised by the youth
In response to the issues raised by the youth, RICNET asked the youth to make their voices heard by being U-reporters an opportunity to speak out their minds with no cost incurred. Through this platform they would cry out loud for help and be heard. The DIO Kabarole Mr. Kobwemi urged the youth to be vigilant because experience is not job based but skill based, he went further to call upon the youth to grab every opportunity that comes their way. Laziness was also criticized whereas they were also encouraged to put vision 2040 “A Transformed Ugandan Society from a Peasant to a Modern and Prosperous Country within 30 years” as a pillar to guide them all their endeavors to have a transformed and youthful Ugandan youth.