In an effort to ensure the Batwa understand that they posses rights that have to be protected and promoted by the state, RIC-NET conducted a consultative meeting with the King Nzito of the Batwa and the entire leadership of the minority group as part of a follow-up on the community meeting held on 24th March 2017. The meeting was held at the Batwa Palace on 20th April 2017. The meeting was attended by the RWECO coordinator Jimmy Odyek and the chairperson of Yesu Atubaliye women group a CBO that is promoting the rights of women in the area.
The Batwa were sensitized on their constitutional rights such as; the right to peace, stability and security, the right to equality, freedom of peaceful assembly and demonstration, the right of citizens to a demand accountability, transparency of the leaders, the right to food and food security, rights to ownership of property, rights to belong to culture and cultural institution, rights of orphans, widows and widowers, rights of women and children. All these were towards the economic empowerment of the Minority community.
King Nzito was delighted on the realization that the Batwa people have rights just like any other citizen and ethnic group to demand and benefit from government programs like others. He noted that, the leaders had branded the Batwa as people who only need survival intervention. The Batwa identified economic empowerment through building capacities(skills and knowledge) as away to help them realize other rights and freedoms as highlighted.
“In order for our identity to be respected we need to empower ourselves and demand for it from others” said Dangora Grace Leader of women.
They agreed to start marketing their handcraft products, Lutwa language, continue supporting their children with education to prepare them for the future. They re-affirmed their commitment to the Bye-laws against Alcohol drinking before evening time to ensure their youth participate in productive activities.