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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

GIVING CHANCE TO COMMUNITY ACTIONS TO SOLVE CONFLICTS IN THE RWENZORI.



Rwenzori sub-region has been seen as one of the volatile areas where a family dispute can spark off clashes between families, ethnic groups or even with security forces. The Rwenzori conflict seems steeped in a complex mix of tribal hegemony, the land question, cultural superiority and politics. 

Violence in the Rwenzori has left many dead, others displaced with houses burnt. Despite heavy police and military deployment to calm the situation down, killings and human rights violations have remained eminent. It is important to note that a military solution treats the symptoms not root causes. There is need for genuine dialogue among communities in conflict, mediated by a team of experts to give chance for a community response to take its course. To allow community response, RWECO with support from HIVOS have come up to ensure community action to prevent and manage conflicts and human rights violations in the Rwenzori region.

A team of approximately 16 researchers has been trained by RWECO to carry out a baseline survey in the four districts of Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, Kamwenge and Kasese to deeply trace for the root causes of the escalating tension, anarchy, pressure, chaos, terror and grievances among the natives of the great Rwenzori. This training took place at Uhuru 50 Hotel in Kasese district on 25th to 26th July 2016 which aimed at equipping the researchers with full knowledge on how the survey is going to be conducted, quality data collections processes, limitations, anticipations, methodology and review of the research instruments were all discussed.





Monday, July 25, 2016

WE CAN SIT TOGETHER FOR PEACE


participants in the District Dialogue on peace
On 20th July 2016 Rwenzori Information Centers Network (RIC-NET) organized an interface/dialogue meeting with the leaders of Bundibugyo District. The meeting was attended by District leaders as (CAO, LCV, DISO, RDC, and CO of Kanyamirima Army Barracks), leaders from cultural institutions (King Batwa tribe, Prime Ministers of Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu (OBR), and Obudingya Bwa Bwamba (OBB), Leader of Esyamango and Information officer of these institutions, District leaders of religious institutions, Town Clerk  of Bundibugyo Town Council, local Council leaders in the sub counties where the intervention is taking place, the elders forum and some specific individual heading the District peace committee for reconciliation.

Rt. Hon Wilson Prime Minster of OBB and Rt Hon Jeremiah Mutoro of OBR in peace meeting
The Objective of the meeting was to localize the action, and interface with cultural leaders, policy makers and implementers of the policies to dialogue and make actions aimed at achieving the objectives of the interventions.
RIC-NET is implementing an initiative aimed at strengthening civic competence in Bundibugyo District. This action is called “Community action to prevent and manage conflicts and human rights violations in the Rwenzori region of Uganda”. In Bundibugyo District the action is implemented in the sub counties of Bubukwanga, Kirumya, Ntotoro, Ngamba and Kasitu. The project targets grassroot citizens to take lead in the prevention and management of conflicts and human rights violations directly from the community through the local leadership at Sub County level.

King Zito Geoffrey of the Batwa asked the participants to promote peaceful coexistence. He said, "my people suffer for nothing yet for us we have no problem with any tribe in Bundibugyo".

The OBR Prime Minister Rt Hon Jeremiah Mutoro mentioned that peace and unity can be achieved if the leaders of the institutions can sit together and iron out their difference. He said “today is one of the historical moments when the two prime Ministers can sit together to discuss peace and reconciliation in the Rwenzori after the collapse of the Mubende peace talks”. These moments must continue even without the interventions of NGOs. On the other hand the Prime Minister of OBB Rt. Hon Wilson mentioned that “ it’s important to identify items that unite us as people from Bundibugyo and stick to the principles of peace and Unity”. Items that unite the Bakonzo and Bamba are for example the 30th June anniversary.

The Esyamango Chairperson of OBR mentioned that agreement, meetings, comminiques and talks cannot bring peace reconciliation and unity if the “individual mindset and attitude of our leaders” are not focused to the same. It was agreed in the meeting that cultural institutions have a big role to play in peace and reconciliation in bundibugyo District.
Such roles were identified as; Support close relationship within the communities, mobilize the community to participate in actions towards unity, promote co-existence among people through promote cultural values that unit people, support the sharing and disseminations of credible information, strengthen the communication channel with the cultural institutions and Strengthen institution capacity to prevent and manage conflicts.



Parents agree to cluster packing of mid day meals for their children


According to research majority of children have one meal in 24 hours. This was stated by the inspector of schools for Bukonzo West Mr. Biryande Edson,who was backed by Mr.Baluku Enos the school headteacher of Karambi Primary School. Mr. Baluku  mentioned that one of the challenges the school is facing is failure by parents to provide mid day meals for their children while at school. This affects the growth of children and their concentration and performance at school. This was during a parents meeting at Karambi primary school in Kasese district on 20th July 2016 at the school. 
The inspector Mr Biryande Edson  speaking to the parents
So in order to address this parents of children at Karambi primary school  agreed to start packing for their children meals. Some parents did not consent to this since they cannot afford packing for the children. A resolution was then reached that the teachers group the children into circles of 5. If one child packed food they have to share it amongst themselves.
This teaches the children to always share and be charitable and also improve friendships amongst the children. 
 Parents suggested this because they said it could be easier to pack food once a week than pack every day for their children.

Parents pose for a photo after the meeting
The inspector of schools further urged parents and teachers to help children identify and achieve their destinies since every child has his/her own destiny in life like being an engineer, doctor among others.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

AT LAST WE CAN SIT TOGETHER.

PMs of OBR and OBB
On 20th July 2016 Rwenzori Information Centers Network (RIC-NET) organized an interface/dialogue meeting with the leaders of Bundibugyo District. The meeting was attended by District leaders as (CAO, LCV, DISO, RDC, and CO of Kanyamirima Army Barracks), leaders from cultural institutions (King Batwa tribe, Prime Ministers of Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu (OBR), and Obudingya Bwa Bwamba (OBB), Leader of Esyamango and Information officer of these institutions, District leaders of religious institutions, Town Clerk  of Bundibugyo Town Council, local Council leaders in the sub counties where the intervention is taking place, the elders forum and some specific individuals heading the District peace committee for reconciliation.
RDC making his remarks.

The Objective of the meeting was to localize the action, and interface with cultural leaders, policy makers and implementors of the policies to dialogue and make actions aimed at achieving the objectives of the interventions.

RIC-NET is implementing an initiative aimed at strengthening civic competence in Bundibugyo District. This action is called “Community action to prevent and manage conflicts and human rights violations in the Rwenzori region of Uganda”. In Bundibugyo District the action is implemented in the sub counties of Bubukwanga, Kirumya, Ntotoro, Ngamba and Kasitu. The project targets grassroot citizens to take lead in the prevention and management of conflicts and human rights violations directly from the community through the local leadership at Sub County.

DISO,DPS,CO Kanyamwirima and Cultural leaders
D talks”. These moments must continue even without the interventions of NGOs.On the other hand the Prime Minister of OBB Rt. Hon Wilson mentioned that “ it’s important to identify items that unit us as people from Bundibugyo and stick to the principles of peace and Unity”. Items that unit the Bakonzo and Bamba are for example the 30th June anniversary.

The Esyamango Chairperson of OBR mentioned that agreement, meetings, comminiques and talks cannot bring peace reconciliation and unity if the “individual mindset and attitude of our leaders” are not focused on the same goal. 

It was agreed in the meeting that cultural institutions have a big role to play in peace and reconciliation in Bundibugyo District. 

Such roles were identified as; Support close relationship within the communities, mobilize the community to participate in actions towards unity, promote co-existence among people through promoting cultural values that unite people, support the sharing and dissemination of credible information, strengthen the communication channel with the cultural institutions and Strengthen institution capacity to prevent and manage conflicts.



Thursday, July 14, 2016

Menstruation a reason why girls miss school /training centers



During menstruation period girls often feel low mostly because of lack of appropriate material to use during their period’s .This makes girls miss school or training centers to first handle this woman issue. This makes them lag behind their male counter parts most of the time in regard to performance and to involve in sexual relationships so that they can get support from the “boyfriends “.

RIC-NET under the project advancing the dignity of vulnerable children and youth as supported by the Global Fund for Children trains girls in vocational hands on skills, equips them with reproductive health knowledge, supports the babies of the young mothers, provides start up kits for them and equips them entrepreneurial skills to handle their small businesses so that they can earn some income to improve on their lives that have been hardened by conflict.
Girls at one of the centers in Rwamwanja were provided with sanitary material to help them handle their menstrual periods conveniently as they attend their vocational training s. The girls were happy and they said that they will always attend their classes as some time they miss because they do not have the material to use during their periods
 Girls pose with some of the items they received

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

PARENTS ENGAGED IN HALTING VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN



Parents in the meeting at kanyatsi primary school

Parents of Kanyatsi primary school have agreed upon working as a team to end violence against children in Kitholhu Sub-County. This was resolved during a parents meeting on 27th June 2016 at the school which was spearheaded by the retired DEO Kasese district Mr. Kateemba Douglas who asked the parents to love their children first if they are stop violence against children. He said with love, parents will educate their children, provide for them to satisfaction, find vision for their children and help them pave way for their future among other things. He also challenged the parents who sleep comfortably while the children are sleeping in a poor condition, very dirty and being feasted on by bedbugs. the children need a good sleep to help them concentrate during school and also live a healthy life. It is the responsibility of the parents to provide adquatedly for their children and aslo spearhead the fight against the violence against children. Mr. Douglas called for peace and harmony in homes as the best way to bring up children into responsible citizens of Uganda.
Mr.Kateemba demonstrating the education cycle to the parents.
Among other issues discussed, luck of food for lunch was cited as a leading child rights violations and that it negatively affects the childrens performance in class. the parents agreed that they are going to start packing food for their children without fail to ensure that their children have lunch. They also agreed to make sure they take their children’s happiness as priority in their homes. Parents agreed that it should be a collective responsibility to ensure that violence against children becomes history in Kasese district.