Wednesday, November 28, 2018

NMG holds first NGO executives convention

NMG holds first NGO executives convention

 Accessed on Thursday 29th November, 2018 from:
 Thursday November 29 2018
Kampala. The Nation Media Group (NMG) has held its first ever NGO Executive Directors convention in Kampala.
Mr Tony Glencross, the Managing Director of NMG Uganda, the parent company of Daily Monitor, The East African, NTV Uganda, Kfm and Dembe Fm, said the convention was to help NGO executives to engage, strategise and reflect on their work.
“With dwindling resources and changing global dynamics, there is need for increased diversification, engagement and partnership among all sectors,” Mr Glencross said at the convention on Tuesday.
He said NGOs need to communicate to the beneficiaries and share experiences, adding that NMG has all the necessary platforms to facilitate this cause.
“NMG sees this opportunity to work with the NGO sector as an integral part of the community, sharing knowledge and ideas, driving agendas to the powers that be and creating awareness of the concerns and goals of the NGO community,” Mr Gencross said.
The convention ran under the theme ‘Opening New Frontiers for Partnerships and Resources’.
Dwindling aid
Ms Elizabeth Ongom, an official from the European Union, said aid has globally shrunk and civil society organisations should at all times guard their reputation if they are to continue getting the limited resources.
“Development partners speak to each other and in detail,” Ms Ongom cautioned.
“International NGOs are facing the same challenge as local NGOs. So, seeking and beginning this conversation [opening new frontiers for partnerships and resources] is really pertinent at this time,” she added.
Dr Wolff-Michael Mors, the head of civil society and governance programme at GIZ, a Germany development agency, said the civil society needs a conducive environment “to unfold its positive impact to the development of a country”. “The freedom of association is a freedom right, hence regulation needs to limit itself to the absolute necessary in a democratic society,” Dr Mors said.
He, however, asked civil society organisations to develop competences to analyse their area of interests, government policies and cultivate strong networks to bundle competencies.
Credibility call
“Ability to participate in policy processes needs credibility. Standards for state actors or the private sector need to apply strictly to their performance; accountability, transparency and human rights-based approach,” Dr Mors added.
Mr Jackson Bitarabeho, the executive director of Child Aids Fund, applauded the initiative to bring NGOs together, and prayed for permanent partnership with NMG.
“Whenever we meet [NGOs], we are busy looking for resources and never get time to discuss pertinent issues as we are discussing today,” Mr Bitarabeho said.
Uganda has at least 15,000 registered NGOs. Mr Joseph Mugisha, the social protection and advocacy officer at the Uganda National NGO Forum, appealed to NGOs to provide services that motivate people to seek more.
“Community members are generally the beneficiaries of your service, so if members shun your service, then you are irrelevant. You need to develop the capacity of members to demand a service,” Mr Mugisha said.

  Accessed on Thursday 29th November, 2018 from:

Monday, September 17, 2018

Why are institutions failing to end violence against children?

By Esther Oluka
The cases of violence against children are always distressing. Often, you will hear stories that a child has been beaten, burnt, raped or even killed. It is such a sad trend.
This is undoubtedly why different institutions continuously involve themselves in eradicating violence against children.

One of such establishments is the Ministry of Education and Sports which came up with the national strategic plan on violence against children in schools for the years 2015 to 2020.
Part of the plan includes promoting community and district level dialogues around the abandonment of harmful practices such as child marriages, educating the public on children’s rights, equipping schools with facilities and resources to support the prevention of violence against children, among others.
Also, institutions such as police (which even has a child and family protection unit dedicated towards fighting the vice), local communities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and churches have also been champions in the fight against the vice.
Despite the efforts these institutions put towards fighting violence against children, one wonders why the cases are still rampant.
Why the high numbers of violence against children?
Fred Onduri-Machulu, a member of the national team on violence against children under the ministry of education, says there are a number of reasons why the vice is still rampant in the country.
“There is limitation of resources including funds to help monitor the manifestation of the vice all over the country. A good example is the probation officers in districts who are poorly facilitated to observe issues related to children,” Machulu says.
Also, Machulu says the private sector, including NGOs, do not like working with government.
“It’s like the two establishments are always suspicious of each other. In the end, government is unJimmy Odyekable to know what is happening on ground and do the necessary intervention,” he says.
Furthermore, the enforcement process of polices and laws regarding children is weak.
“It’s like people are not bothered about these regulations, and, that’s why rather than protect children, they are instead violating their rights,” he says.
As a way of tackling some of these challenges, Machulu says there is a need for collaborative action between government and society organisations.
Police speaks out
Although the Uganda Police Force has a department, the child and family protection unit, dedicated towards handling cases of violence against children including abuse and rape, the department continues to face several challenges while handling these child related issues.
“For example, there are parents who prefer to settle cases outside court with the perpetrators of the crime. Some of these culprits offer these parents money as a tactful way of killing the case.
In the end, the child will not receive justice,” says the Senior Superintendent of Police, Maureen Atuhaire, the in-charge, child and family protection unit at Uganda Police.
The other major challenge Atuhaire points out includes lack of a witness protection centre in the country, one that would be ideal for protecting threatened witnesses.
“The absence of these centres leaves individuals with no option but go back to their respective homes or communities where the vice happened.” Atuhaire says.
There is also the issue of parents refusing to record statements at police after their child has been abused.
In order to curb some of these issues, Atuhaire says there is need to continue sensitising masses on the rights of children, but also, it is important that different stakeholders including parents, teachers and police take account of their respective roles geared towards curbing the vice.
Violence against disabled children
According to Dolerence Were, the executive director of Uganda Society for Disabled Children (USDC), children with disabilities are more vulnerable towards facing violence than those without any kind of disability.
“They are easily violated because of their limited ability to help themselves from perpetrators, Infact, some of these children are entirely at the mercy of caretakers who take advantage of them,” Were says.
A 2014 BMC Public Health article titled, ‘Violence against primary school children with disabilities in Uganda: a cross-sectional study’, states globally, 150 million children aged 0 to 18 years old are estimated to be living with a disability, the majority of whom live in low and middle-income countries.
Most at risk
Disabled children attending school are at an increased risk of most forms of violence relative to their non-disabled peers with girls being more at risk, notably sexual violence.
Part of the article also hinted that although The Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities directs governments to ensure all children, irrespective of any disability, enjoy their rights without discrimination, a growing evidence indicates that disabled children are often amongst the most socially excluded and vulnerable.
On what measures can be put in place to help children with disabilities, Were suggests that rather give on them, parents and other caretakers should help their children for example by ensuring they get the right medical attention and assessment.

Accessed on Monday 17th September 2018 from:  

Friday, August 3, 2018


Prevention of violence against children is a new world phenomenon that has come to the development agenda. Prevention of violence against children was first fused within child protection work and little did development work realise that a lot was being missed when prevention of VAC was done along side child protection. Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence together with Children's Rights Violence Prevention Fund ( CRVP-Fund) in November 2015 piloted a project on VAC prevention in Kasese District. The project has since scaled up and identified key stakeholders in prevention of VAC. As noted from our experiences, community driven approaches to prevent VAC is has proved effective since communities are well known for their resilience and child up bringing in times of loss of parents or guardians. In this community driven approaches, we have identified the parents as key stakeholders, thus RWECO has trained a team of 16 (8f,8m) community facilitators who will facilitate Parenting for Respectability sessions in 8 sub counties of Kasese, we have also trained 32 ( 16f,16m)primary school teachers in safe school environment promotion using journeys, a hand book developed by RTI for the ministry of Education.

In addition, religious leaders are key stakeholders since they own most of the schools that we call government aided, thus 120 religious leaders were sensitized in prevention of VAC. A case by case approach was adopted given the different religious beliefs and norms about children.

To crown it all, we realised, culture plays a critical role in child rearing practices right from conception to adult hood. RWECO identified Nyabaghole Foundation for Development which runs a unique program for the young children in Kasese popularly known as " Embaale Ya'Nyabaghole" Youth camp where the youth are trained in skills, taught Bakonzo culture, norms and practices. The Embaale Ya'Nyabaghole was initiated and mentored by the Obusinga Queen who in January 2016 launched the program of making reusable sanitary pads with the young girls. RWECO together with Nyabahgole Foundation, has sensitized a team of 16 clan leaders and 35 native chiefs of Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu using the Ministry of Gender Labour and Development Final report recommendations ( Ref. GOU: Cultural norms, values and practices that impact on Hiv & Aids, maternal health and Gender based violence. Final Report, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, November 2013). The main facilitator was Hon. Loice Biira Bwambale, former Kasese District Woman Member of Parliament ( 1989-2005)

Hon. Loice Biira Bwambale, facilitating at the sensitisation meeting with OBR clan leaders and native chiefs at Virina Garden Hotel, Kasese Municipality, 17th July, 2018

Participants at the sensitization meeting of clan leaders and native chiefs
Action points for the clan leaders and native chiefs

The meeting realised that the Bakonzo had a rich culture of child naming according to order of birth which was unique in the world, the participants resolved to make a committee of five people who will study further and write to Ministry of Gender for advice on how to submit their unique culture to UNESCO

The participants also resolved to sensitize the communities against the culture of early marriages and teenage pregnancies and instead promote positive culture that keeps children in school with focus on the girl child

To make a follow up meeting with the Resident District Commissioner on how to seek for government support to sensitize the communities on Bakonzo positive cultural practices  aimed at preventing violence against children

Compiled by

Evelyne Kenyana
Felestus Masika
Edited by Jimmy B. Odyek

Monday, July 16, 2018


Violence against children continues to be  a major problem in Uganda and Kasese in particular, it  happens in  homes , communities and at school where children are faced with corporal punishment,sexual violence ,bullying  among other  cases . RWECO and its member organizations of; RIDE-Africa, KALI, GOOD HOPE and RIC-NET in partnership with Kasese guide radio with  funding from the  Child Rights and Violence Prevention  Fund (CRVP-F) have been implementing a project titled  "community driven approaches to prevent violence against children and adolescents in Kasese district " .As one of the ways of preventing violence against children at school, Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence (RWECO) conducted a 3 days training for teachers on safe school environment at Rwenzori International hotel, Kasese.
RWECO coordinator during the training

RWECO conducted the 3 days training(11th-13th July) to equip teachers with knowledge about safe school environment so that they can be able  to champion the safe school element in their schools.42 participants (m-22, f-20) who included 2 teachers from the each of 16 schools of implementation and RWECO staff attended the training.
The teachers trained were from 15 primary schools: Kanyatsi, Kyabikere, Karambi, Kamasasa, Mundongo, St. John’s Bukangara, Katwe, Katwe Quran, Karusandara SDA, Kenyange Muslim, Nkaiga, Kyanya SDA, Ibuga, Kitswamba SDA and one secondary school: Kisinga Voc. Secondary School.
The trained teachers are expected to be examples in their schools and communities in creating a safe school environment. They are also expected to sensitize fellow teachers, parents and school management committees about creating a safe school environment.
The key facilitator Mr. Kutamba Caleb took teachers through different sessions that zeroed at creating a safe school environment for learners with reference to a manual called the Journeys developed by ministry of education and sports (MoES). Key topics of discussion included safe spaces for children while at school, qualities of a senior man and a senior woman teacher, qualities of a safe school environment, reflection on one’s life at school, images of violence among other sessions .
The facilitator during one of the sessions
All these made teachers reflect on their actions that perpetrate violence against children and promised to refrain from them so as to be good and exemplary teachers. The teachers through Ms. Muhahiria Jackline a teacher at Kisinga voc. secondary presented their commitment to RWECO and said that “we teachers have repented of the different cases of VAC we perpetuate against children” and  pledged to create a safe school environment in the schools where they teach.  She thanked RWECO for having facilitated such kind of training.

Ms.Muharia Jackline presenting the teachers commitments
The training was closed by the LC5chairperson Kasese Hon. Geoffrey Bighogho Sibendire, who urged the trained teachers to desist from the different forms of VAC they have been perpetuating against children since they have been trained .He said that “children will always remember the bad things done to them and forget the good ones so teachers should avoid Violence against children so that they are not held in the bad memories of their learners. He commissioned the participants as champion teachers in ending VAC
The LCV at the closure of the training
In conclusion, the 3 days training ended successfully as teachers pledged to create a safe school environment in their schools and one of the participants composed a song discouraging VAC and that the nation is because teachers are and since they are the nation is .The song was composed by Mr. Bwambale Selevest a teacher at Kanyatsi primary school in Kitholhu sub county.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Government to ban sachet alcohol next year

Government to ban sachet alcohol next year 

 ( Accessed  on 21st June, 2018 from:

By Eronie Kamukama
Kampala- Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde yesterday said government will next year ban sachet alcohol given their health hazard to the community.
Speaking during the launch of the Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) new glass packaging line at in Kampala, Kyambadde said: “For waragi (alcohol) in the kaveera (sachet), we shall start with the one less than 200ml. Those factories producing them are already in the process of bringing in equipment that will package their alcohol. It is a gradual process that will start in September and the total ban will be in March 2019.”
The Ministry of Trade in consultations with stakeholders has prepared the Principles of Alcoholic Drinks Control Bill which is due for presentation to the Cabinet.
The Bill will be key in the total ban of sachet alcohol and regulation in the industry.
Mr Mark Ocitti, the UBL managing director, welcomed the ban, saying it will create a clean trading environment.
Sixty eight per cent of alcohol consumed in Uganda, according to Mr Ocitti, is illicit with much of it packaged and consumed in sachets.
Illicit alcohol includes counterfeits and one that is produced without stringent controls.
Ms Kyambadde said preparations had been made to establish a bottling factory under Uganda Development Cooperation.
“We have already made arrangements with the investors. In Masaka, we have the best sand for bottles so in future you might be sourcing bottles from here instead of ordering from Kenya or elsewhere,” she said.
Ms Kyambadde also admitted that there were a number of illicit alcohol manufacturers that are unknown.
Irresponsible drinking
According to Mr John O’keefe, the Diageo Africa president, illicit alcohol does not only hurt licensed distillers but causes government to lose revenue as well as promote irresponsible drinking.
“Approximately 61 per cent of alcohol in Uganda is unbranded and does not pay any tax. It is estimated that the total fiscal loss from this is Shs628b. In addition, an estimated 98 per cent of all alcohol abuse stems from this unbranded, unregulated illicit alcohol,” he said.
The alcohol industry, according to the Ministry of Trade, ranks among the top tax payers, having contributed about Shs235b in form of Excise Duty in the 2015/16 financial year. It also directly employs 60,000 people along the entire value chain. 

Accessed on Thursday 21st June, 2018 from: 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Poverty causing Rwenzori conflicts - Museveni

Friday January 12 2018

Poverty causing Rwenzori conflicts - Museveni

Relations.  President Museveni interacts with
Relations. President Museveni interacts with Ms Christine Muhindo, the mother of Rwenzururu King Charles Mumbere, during a fundraising in Kasese on January 11, 2018. Left is Bukedea MP Anita Among. PHOTO BY ENID NINSIIMA 
By Enid Ninsiima & Moris Mumbere
Kasese. President Museveni has vowed to fight poverty and employment in Rwenzori, which he said are the major causes of insecurity in the sub-region.
“We are going to concentrate on Kilembe mines rehabilitation so that jobs are created since there are many minerals in the area,” the President said yesterday at a donors’ conference of Kasese Better Living Centre of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Mr Museveni told the people of Kasese that money has remained in modern agriculture, tourism services, ICT and industrialisation and urged them to make use of ICT to create job opportunities.
“Use internet processing to outsource jobs abroad,” the President said
He pledged six vehicles for SDA bishops in the country and pledged Shs200 million towards the completion of the church in Kasese. He paid Shs30m cash.
The President warned the Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu to desist from being disoriented from their core values, which he said disturbs peace in the sub-region.
“I am ready to talk with you about peace building in Kasese since we cannot depend on peace brought about by army,” he said.
This is the first visit the President has made to the sub-region since the 2016 Kasese palace attack where more than 100 royal guards were killed.

 Accessed on Friday 12th January, 2018 from:  

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


RWECO and FAWE Uganda staff based in Kasese district, conducted a training of 144 ( 60f, 84m) teachers from 25th -27th and 2nd October 2017 in 8 schools of Katwe, Katwe Quran, Mundongo, Karambi , Kamasasa, Kanyatsi , Kyabikere Primary Schools  and Kisinga Vocation Secondary School. The training was about prevention of violence against children. The teachers were targeted since they were identified as among the primary perpetrators by the baseline conducted by RWECO in Nov. 2015. The lead facilitator Mrs. Harriet Masika Kahangwa the assistant inspector in charge of Busongora South, and Mr. Richard Kilhambuli, the Regional Coordinator FAWE Uganda based in Kasese District.
The teachers vowed to drop the cane and instead root for alternative punishments after being educated on forms of violence and more the use canning was outlawed in Uganda. They realized that had been using the cane on risk and cone could easily loose his/her job. One common practice of adults going bare chest at home or dressing in a towel without a vest was a practice mentioned by the participants in all the schools. The facilitators noted that, dressing in a towel was a psychological violence to the children. The Head teacher of Karambi primary school confessed that he had not known such was violence against children, he added that his wife complains about the same and he only took a deaf ear. However, after realizing that he had been violating his children, he vowed to stop the habit.  At Katwe Quran, head teacher had this to say. ‘’ I have been practicing this habit not knowing it violets my children and the community surrounding me, sometimes I even escorted visitors to the road side with the towel am surprised that it tortures the children”.
 The teachers in the various schools of operation appreciated RWECO efforts in the prevention of violence against children and adolescents they noted that since our partnership, they had improved on conducting themselves professionally and   had not remained the same, the community now understand violence against children (VAC) and pledged to becoming change agents in the schools and communities. We are learning more about RWECO and we are proud that among us the teachers we have a model couples. As we  continue teaching  pupils and students, the level of corporal punishment will reduce and mainstream positive discipline through alternative punishments since they do not inflict any pain on a child, these include  detaining students for constructive work, making them write apology, verbal warning, letter writing, reading names of those who have misbehaved throughout the year during Parents Teachers Association meetings, withdraw their privileges, let them write behavioral contract and a students court can also be formed as one of the disciplinary measures.
It was an appeal to all teachers to always remain role models since community respects them, however they cited a challenge of most of the parents leaving the parenting roles of their children to teachers.  The Kasese district education department and the political leaders have joined the struggle to prevent violence against children in schools and communities by passing child friendly ordinances and bye-laws    

Compiled by
MS. Margret Kidima

Friday, September 29, 2017


The Chairperson of the Prime Ministerial Commission Mr. Gadi Mbayahi admitted that there was need for the Bakonzo and Bwamba to dialogue in order to restore peace in the Rwenzori region since the two were the primary actors in the violent conflicts that broke out since 2014. " I admit and suggest the two Prime Ministers from Obusinga and Obudhingiya need to meet and dialogue since the two tribes of Bakonzo and Bwamba are the primary actors in these conflicts" Mr. Gadi was giving a comment at the Rwenzori region leaders and elders dialogue meeting held at Lisieux Guest Centre, Fort Portal on 28th September, 2017.
Hon. Gadi Mbayahi ( standing), chairperson of the OBR Prime Ministerial Commission
Hon. Loice Biira Bwambale, emphasizing a point of peaceful coexistence during her presentation at the regional leaders dialogue at Lisieux Guest Centre, Fort Portal on 28th Sept. 2017 
Hon. Loice Biira Bwambale ( former district woman MP of Kasese district from the 1989 NRC to the 7th Parliament of Uganda and CA delegate). Hon. Loice presented on a topic of the role of cultural institutions in peace building in the Rwenzori Region. She outline five key intervention areas of cultural institutions as provided in the Constitution and other legal instruments made by parliament.
Col. Peter Omola, Bridged Commander, Mountain bridged ( in army uniform) presenting at the leaders dialogue at Lisieux Guest Centre, Fort Portal, 28th Sept. 2017 
Col. Peter Omola presented a paper on the current conflict status/focus and highlights from the security perspectives. The man in uniform noted that winning a war needed community support by providing credible and timely information, he also noted the cooperation sofar with the local leaders in the Rwenzori region. He assured the elders and leaders that, with UPDF, they were protected and expected no more attacks given the establishment of a specialised bridged in mountain war affairs.
While the UPDF 2nd Division Public relations Officer, Maj. Peter Mugisa, reiterated the words of Col. Peter of the UPDF by building the civilian military cooperation ( CIMIC) by participating in community actions like cleaning of towns, health centers and providing medical support, attending sensitization meetings.
RDC- Mr. Asimwe receiving the Foot Peace Ambassadors tool box from the Chairperson RWECO, Rev. Isaiah
The participants were drawn from the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Ntoroko and Bundibugyo. Other participants were the elders and cultural institutions and religious leaders representatives from the region.
Rev. Yongeza Mukonzo ( standing in a color) presenting during the leaders dialogue.
Ms. Florence Kintu, Chairperson Rwenzori Women's Forum on Peace ( standing) commenting on  the presentation of Hon. Loice
The leaders dialogue meeting was held under the theme: together for peace and was a break through after the team from Obusinga led by the Hon. Gadi suggested to dialogue with Obudhingiya. RWECO will follow up on that action.

Compiled by

Jimmy B. O


The world celebrated the International Day of on Thursday 21st, September 2017 under the Theme: Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.  The Rwenzori Regional Day of Peace Celebrations were held on Tuesday 26th Sept. 2017 at Bwesumbu SDA Primary School, Kasese District under the same theme. At the event, the participants  appreciated the cultural diversity that we cherish in the region as different cultural groups presented. Rwenzori region which is on the road to peace building is slowly recovering from the violent conflicts and its believed that through music dance and drama, dialogue and reconciliation and forgiveness, peace will return to the once tourism region. The region lost lives, property and jobs as well as economic activities including tourism  at the height of the violent conflicts from 2014-2016.

 Leaders of cultural groups from the Rwenzori region during the International Day of Peace Celebrations at Bwesumbu SDA, Kasese District.  The cultural groups were drawn from: Bandimagwara Cultural Group from Bundibugyo district,  Basongara Cultural Band, Eco's Band and Nyabingo Cultural Entertainers Group all presented. Bweramuli Youth Group from Ntoroko also presented a skit on human rights promotion.
Bweramuli Youth Drama Club, Ntoroko District, presenting at the International Day of Peace at Bwesumbu SDA, 26th Sept. 2017
From left: Mr. Baker (Bwamba Babwisi), Mr. Kalenzi ( Basongora), Mr. Jolly Kahyana ( Bakonzo) and one of the group members

Bandimagwara Cultural Group from Bundibugyo district, presenting at Bwesumbu SDA on 26th Sept. 2017

Nyakabingo Bakonzo Cultural Group presenting Flute dance, one of the Bakonzo instruments showing sign of peace

From left: the District Woman Councilor and Mr. Wilson Mbathulhowo, District Councilor, representing the district Chairperson at the regional international day of peace on 26th, Sept. 2017

Key messages at the regional international day of peace on 26th Sept. 2017 at Bwesumbu SDA, Kasese district:

Message from the Chief Guest was presented by Hon. Wilson Mbathulhawo, who acknowledged the need for peace and peaceful coexistence in the region. He noted the contributions by the different arms of government, CSOs and the community for participating in the International day of peace events. He further noted that, Kasese district had gone through many years of violent conflicts and it was time for politicians and community to come to terms and talk peace to forge development in the region.

The LCIII Chairperson, Mr. Samson Bagenda, called on the community to cooperate with the security personal in case of arrest  "dont resist arrest, inform your wife to inform the LCI, and after reaching sub county, inform your district councilor and me"

While the speaker of the Esyomango Mr. Jolly Kahyana challenged the community as he paraded the different leaders of the cultural groups present at the function. Jolly noted that there were bad elements from the elders who were misleading the youth, and he gave out his phone contact just in case any one comes in the name of the Obusinga pretending to be helping and registering the youth to join Police to first confirm the information from the LCIII and his office.

The CSOs present were:  RWECO, GHFRD, RICENT, RIDE AFRICA, KRC, RFPJ, EDEN, Media houses.

Compiled by

Jimmy BO

Monday, September 25, 2017


Learning from the ancestors is one thing that we downplay but the Acholi sub region found in the Northern Part of Uganda, took advantage of the Acholi tradition of making peace under one of the oldest trees "Oput". The tradition dates back to medieval age but that did not stop the modern Acholi elders from performing rituals that would enable the community heal from the wounds of violent conflicts. We call the ritual "Muto Oput"  reconciliation under the tree (oput) done to families or communities that were involved in violent conflict leading to loss of lives.
Parabongo Survivors performing the"Muto Oput" 13th Sept. 2017 at Parabongo Primary School, Amuru District
RWECO led a team of 62 foot peace ambassadors for a learning visit to Acholi sub region in Northern Uganda. The RWECO team  was hosted by ACORD and JRP in Gulu from 11-14th, Sept. 2017. The main purpose of the learning visit to appreciate the approaches of conflict management used by the communities in the Acholi sub region that was faced with violent conflicts for 25 years. From the learning visit, the team appreciated the triangulation of approaches in peace building and the involvement of religious leaders, cultural leaders and the political leaders to end the northern Uganda insurgence.
Bishop Ochola ( middle in colar), Secretary of the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative ( ARLPI) with RWECO team at JRP, 12th Sept. 2017 
Stop violence- Bishop Ochola tells the RWECO team at JRP-Office Board room-12th Sept, 2017
" We formed Peace Committees in every sub county in the Acholi sub region, as a mechanism to sensitize the members of the community to regard the formally abducted children as victims of circumstance"

RWECO team participating in a dance with the Women Network group in Gulu Municipality, 13th-Sept. 2017
Experience sharing was one way of recovering from the trauma caused by the life in captivity
Mr. Simon Peter, vice chairperson Gulu District, giving presentation on the role of political leaders in the pacification of Acholi sub region- 12th-Sept. 2017
"We have putt a side the political parties and focused on developed, the Hon. Mama Santa is the secretary for social services, President assistant but she is  member of the executive where the district chairperson is FDC" here we talk of development and dialogue.

A jovial welcome at Parabongo Primary School, Amuru district- 13th-Sept. 2017
Participants getting ready for the field day in Gulu- 12th-Sept. 2017
Group photo after pre-visit meeting at ACORD Office, 28th-August, 2017
Lessons from the learning visit to Gulu

1. The  four pillars of peace:  Truth, Mercy, Peace and Justice
2. Local community support to peace building was vital for ending the violence in the Acholi sub region
3. Respect and tolerance for each other, approach by the Acholi Religious leaders peace Initiative used as a tool to accommodate each despite of the religious beliefs
4. Use of different approaches by cultural leaders, religious leaders and the political support
5. The government of Uganda and the international community  role in ending the insurgence

Main challenge:

1. Accepting the survivors and their children born in captivity
2. Livelihoods integration into peace recovery programs was not well planned given the nature and coverage of the program to include other districts

Compiled by:

Jimmy Odyek

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


" We were removed from the forest and just thrown on the outskirts, until some NGOs came here and supported us these things you see here" The King of the Batwa Chieftain in Bundibugyo District reiterated and shaking his head during a community meeting with the Batwa Community in Ntandi Town Council, Bundibugyo District on 30th May, 2017.  A joint team of RWECO including RICNET, RIDE AFRICA and KALI had organised the meeting at which the Ntandi Town Coucncil Local Council (LCIII) chairperson was put to task as to why the Batwa were not considered in the operation wealth creation program. In response the LCIII chairperson, immediately pledged to give maize and potato stems to the Batwa who were willing to go to the garden even when they had no space at their community.

Despite the challenges, the Batwa community are welcoming, have a rich cultural history which is not documented and have almost lost their lutwa language.

King Zito Geffrey lead the Batwa in a traditional dance,  May 30th, 2017

Women and children participating in the dance as  sign of appreciation to RWECO

Not all was lost as the Batwa Community have formed a Community based organistion that they called Batwa Community Tukulakulane Association ( BACOTA). The LCIII chairperson pledged also to support the Batwa if they could register their CBO so as to benefit from government programs like youth livelihoods and women's fund. It was noted that the Batwa through the CBO would lobby other development partners to support their agenda on human rights promotion.
We talk Human Rights now:  the Chairperson of the Batwa Women's Council listening the translation of human rights in Lubwisi

Children, youth and adults and elderly were all assembled in the Roman Catholic Church as main hall for training: 30th May, 2017
While the Batwa are listed as one of the indigenous communities of Uganda ( 1995 Constitution), their history is doted with a life not well led: why long story of our ancestral home was taken away from us, but cant you settle here now was the question many people have asked, but where? if no one was concerned about our plight, our life has changed, intermarriage no more lutwa language, not even a single word written in the history of Uganda about the lutwa language, unless otherwise. We cant continue lamenting what was available must be documented like the cultural heritage. When UWA as asked about the Batwa trail in Semuliki National Park,  they noted that about 6 Batwa guides were identified but the problem was that they dont know the English "Queen's Language"

Thats why RWECO has questioned the integration program of the Batwa community in Bundibugyo district.

RWECO team
Charles Kaliba
Geofrey Bwambale
Micah Mutahunga
Farridah  Ihunde
Jimmy  Odyek