Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Parents take led in guiding their children at Kitswamba SDA primary

On 11th Monday 2016 Human Rights and Democracy Link Africa with support from RWECO organized a school open day or career day at Kitswamba SDA where over 400 parents, religious and local leaders attended.
The school started in 1962 by the Seventh Day Adventist church and became government aided in 1997, its run by the school management committee that has 13 members, parents Teachers Association 9 members , 13 (1f,12m) teaching staff and the pupils. The school’s population is 860 pupils (462 girls, 405 boys). Enrollment for girls is large however P.7 has only 17 girls and 23 boys this implies that most of the girls and boys too drop on the way for early pregnancies, early marriages and lack of basic needs like scholastic material and sanitary pads. Parents contribute 3000shs as development fund to the school and also agreed to pay for remedial classes. In 2015 PLE only 6 pupils were in division two out of 55. Reasons for poor performance the school administrators attribute to, inadequate classrooms, seats and understaffed, lack of lunch meals for pupils, lack of safe water the school uses swamp water which is not clean at all, lack of scholastic material, education not being first priority in the area, lack of payments for school dues, denial of time to revise at home, attending burials, marriages and cinema halls among others. Children presented poems and skits on VAC and its impacts and how they want a violence free community to achieve their goals. The pupils called on their parents to provide mid-day meals, basic needs and teachers to stop violating their rights, provide safe environment, be present at school and finish the syllabus.  
The day was organized for the teachers, parents and leaders both local and religious to interact and forge way forward in preventing violence against children and proper upbringing children for a better future. Parents were embraced and took lead in guiding children and fellow parents. These are some of the forms of violence in this community defilement, rape, early marriages, corporal punishments by teachers and parents and child labor. Amidst all these, children are still engaging in bad acts for instance one parent highlighted that there six girls in p.6 that have been coming to school in wrong hours waiting for boys and men, they have made this school a lodge and already one of them is pregnant. Therefore parents should be kin on the steps our children take for us to yield fruits in them.
The CDO Kitswamba sub/county argued parents to have commitment of educating their children, the mistrust in families where pockets are different affect children too. Let’s work together for a proper economic empowerment. Parents were guided to love and take good care for their children by providing basic needs like scholastic material, sanitary package always guiding them on issues of reproductive health, how to respect people, dress code limit their movements, guide them to fear God , talk about children roles and responsibilities and above all ensure there is food security in the household.

Compiled by
Ms. Margret Kidima

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Kasese teachers vow to prevent violence against children

Rwenzori Consortium is together with KALI, Good Hope, RIDE AFRIC, RICNET & KGR are implementing a pilot project in community-led mechanisms to prevent violence against children and adolescents in 15 Primary Schools and one Secondary school in Kasese district.

Teachers joining pupils in singing to denounce violence against Children at Ibuga Primary School, 30th June, 2016

RWECO and the Kasese district Education office organized a teachers learning that was hosted at Ibuga on 30th June and on 1st July at Katwe Primary School.  The teachers are key actors in ending violence against children since during the baseline survey, pupils mentioned teachers as the key players in violating their rights. During the learning visit, micro-teaching lessons were arranged and teachers were exposed to different methodologies that are violence free as in Ibuga where children come from different background a teacher had to ensure that he/she use different languages in the lower classes where they thematic curriculum.  The teachers appreciated the learning event at which the district inspector of schools were presented by Mr. Edson Biryandi the Assistant Inspector of Schools in charge of Bukonzo.
During the learning visits, the children presented skits on prevention of VAC and mentioned that denial of mid day meals was hindering them from achieving their goal of education. The pupils called on their parents to provide mid-day meals and teachers to stop violating their rights, provide safe environment and finish the school syllabus also be present at school.  
Other activities include: sensitization meetings  that are  aimed at bringing the parents together and share the findings of the baseline survey.  The partners identified guest speakers during the sensitization meetings and these were parents and role model couples who shared their vast experiences in prevention of violence against children and adolescents. . While in other schools the parents sensitization ,  the sensitization meetings were used as occasions for parents to meet with class teachers and their children.  Children presented poems and skits on VAC and its impacts and how they want a violence free community to achieve their goals. 

Complied by Felista Masika
RWECO Assistant Office Administrator

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Munkunyu Sub county leadership in Kasese district have pledged to sensitize communities on peaceful co-existence after a highly powered sensitization  meeting took place  on Tuesday 19th, July, 2016  that was organised by Good hope Foundation for Rural Development with support from RWECO, Hivos and the European Union Delegation in Uganda. Good Hope is implementing a project on community action to prevent and manage conflict and human rights violations in the Rwenzori region. As a ground rule each participant was asked to talk in a language they felt comfortable with.
Participants at the sensitization meeting at Munkunyu Sub county, 19th July, 2016

The participants were  drawn from the subcounty leadership including local council  (LCI-LCIII) executives, religious leaders representatives from farmers and pastoralists. The facilitator Mr. Isaac Bwalhuma a lawyer working with Uganda Christian Lawyers Fraternity informed the participants about the legal requirements of land ownership while quoting the Land Act and the 1995 Constitution of Uganda. Land was identified as the root cause of conflict  in the sub county and since the LCI courts were disbanded by order of Court, many errors were made by LCI executives in matters of land. The facilitator advised the LCI that their role was only to mediate in land issues and not make judgements as had been the case and land cases were taking a different twist of being violent.

The participants also were informed of the emotional statements of " EKITAKA KYA MAGHENDA" by the youth Councilor;  loosely translated as the land was gone  as being sensational instead people should invest in education and cutting on their cost of consumption. The RWECO Coordinator reminded  the communities instead of discussion issues of welfare were busy discussing division in the community. The Gombolala Internal Security Officer, was asked how many Lorries of cows are registered going to  the Border market in Bwera, he informed the house that 30 lorries carrying 20-25 cows are cleared at the Market in Bwera. One pastoralists was asked how much that could be in terms of money, he said each cow on average costs Ugs. 1,000,000/ translating into Ugx. 600,000,000/ per week. That was the money spent on cow meat, asked further what the lorries that bring into Kasese take out of Kasese, the participants answered non. Now who was responsible for taking the Shs. 600,000,000/ the citizens of Kasese? Another question, was whether the shs. 600M spent on meat was also reflected in the  number of Professors in Kasese district? the participants realised that it was only through such sensitization meetings that they could live peacefully with their neighbors.
Another issue  brought up during the meeting was about the River Kanyampara water channel that feeds the cattle crazing  in Nyakatonzi sub county, the participants suggested to meet the communities along the channel devise means of co-existing and using the channel with out causing conflict they were informed that the best time for the crop farmers to feed water into their gardens was at night, thus leaving water to flow to the cattle crazing during the day.  The Chairperson LCIII, Mr. Josephat Muhindo, the District woman Councilor and the District councilor were presented and pledged to mainstream conflict prevention into their work. The Chairperson LCIII, pledged to place a ramp at his office since the people with disabilities could not access his office easily.

Jimmy B. Odyek
Felestus Soki

Thursday, July 14, 2016


 RWECO trained 15  staff  from : KALI, Good Hope, RIDE AFRICA & RICNET were trained from 6th-8th, July, 2016 at Uhuru @50 Hotel, Kasese Municipality. 

Mr. Bangirana Narcisio facilitating at the staff training-8th July, 2016

The project on community action to prevent and manage conflicts and human rights violations was designed as a result of the unending conflicts that have ravaged the Rwenzori region since the pre-colonial to post-colonial era. As far as back in 1921, conflicts had emerged in the Rwenzori region due to:  cultural identity and resource sharing, migrations, land ownership was basically a   cause of cultural conflicts in the traditional Tooro Kingdom, the conflicts were even intra-tribal and inter-tribal.
 Until 1962 when the representative of the Bakonzo and Bwamba matched out of the Tooro Kingdom Rukurato and declared secession from the Tooro Kingdom, conflicts in the Rwenzori region became more pronounced than ever. With the creation of Ruwenzori (Kasese District) and Semuliki ( Bundibugyo district) in 1974, however, even when the districts were granted still conflicts and human rights violations became eminent, loss of lives and property did not end. Thus the Rwenzori region has passed through hard times as described by some scholars and development workers.
  The political interventions in the conflicts have not provided safe grounds as conflicts have continued to emerge at different times. The NALU & ADF rebel attacks in the 1990s, left mayhem to the citizens of the region and the whole country. More so, with the recognition of Cultural Institutions in the region, organized groups of people who claimed that there were marginalized attacked government installations in Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts on July 5th,2014. Lives and property were lost and community responses to these conflicts were not given chance since government intervention was political.
 Conflicts and human rights violations of any form have devastating impacts on the community and those most affected are women, children, PWDs and the elderly. Thus RWECO conducted training for staff in key conflict terminologies, conflict prevention and management and community action initiatives to prevent conflict and human rights violations
The main purpose of the staff training
 The main purpose of the staff training is to equip staff with concepts and terminologies applicable to conflict prevention and management and human right.

 Specific Objectives
1.      To equip staff with knowledge and skill so key concepts in conflict prevention and management and human rights
2.      2. To re-tool staff in the application of the rights based approached to peace building and conflict management;
3.      3. To pre-test the peace education manual

The training was attended by 15 ( 5 F, 10M) staff from: KALI, Good Hope, RIDE AFRICA & RICNET. The training was facilitated by Mr. Narcisio Bangirana, a renowned conflict analysis and peace building facilitator in Uganda; the facilitator took staff in conflict sensitive facilitation skills, training skills and moderation. Other facilitators were: Jimmy and John who handled conflict concepts, conflict analysis and prevention and conflict mapping. The training was one of the events where staff discussed further conflict scenarios at local, national and international level. Group work further gave staff an opportunity to apply the skills learnt during the training.    During the training members learnt that in order to manage conflicts in Rwenzori region, look at how communities interact, empower them with skills of co-existence and information.
We also learnt that for conflicts to be managed, there should be Negotiation  which is a problem solving process in which two or more people in a conflict voluntarily discuss their differences and attempt to reach a joint decision of their common concerns that is satisfactory to both parties.
Members also learnt that the most appropriate approach for managing conflicts in Rwenzori region is mediation where a third party facilitates a negotiation, it’s also important that those who conflict are the very ones to bring the solution.  Bearing in mind that Post conflict peace building is very important because it help people to understand law, cultural institution, building their capacity and gives them knowledge. it also involve rehabilitation of communities e.g. veterans (let’s make an attempt on rehabilitation). It also involves transformation like cultural galas , peace games  and church leaders involvement.

Compiled by
Ms. Margret   Kidima