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Thursday, April 20, 2017

HUMAN RIGHTS AND EMPOWERMENT- THE BATWA KING NZITO

In an effort to ensure the Batwa understand, protect and promote their rights, RIC-NET conducted a consultative meeting with the King Nzito of the Batwa and their entire leadership of the minority group as part of the follow-up to the community meeting held on 24th March 2017. The meeting was held at the compound of 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. 

Among the rights that were discussed are; 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 expressed his happiness to understand he also and his people have rights like other citizens of the bundibugyo to demand and benefit from government programs like others. He noted that, the leaders had branded them as people who can only be given for survival. The Batwa identified economic empowerment 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, Luta 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.

Friday, April 14, 2017

FIRST TIME HAVING THE BALL.

The dream became a reality on 13th April 2017 as one Dongiya a 12 year old torched the ball. He’s a son from the Batwa chief.  In supporting the right to education especially retention in school, RIC-NET supported the children of the Batwa minority community with scholarstic Materials (balls and other playing Items).
 Dongiya who is in P.2 class and other children from this community have been facing the challenge of Retention in school, as part out promotion the rights to education, we gave out items that can help the children spend their time after class. “…will be playing football to promote my skills..”said the boy.  These items also are intended to promote the right of association among the school children. By playing football, the children are interacting with other and can copy some good behaviors from the trainers.


On the other hand, games kill boredom, develop skills and talents, and increase social interaction. Children are also able to express themselves. In supporting the children with playing items, we promoting the right to equality, right to non discrimination, right to free and compulsory primary education. 

Sr. Angelica the animator of the children’s rights at our lady of Annunciation Bugombwa parish who had been nicknamed Nalongo because of her care for children, expressed happiness for the items provided. She said her children are always bored especially after classes that end at 2:00pm and this make them to think about home and those other dirt acts they had been doing at home.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Provide for your families- the Karambi neighborhood assembly Resolution


A girl Narrating violence in families children face

“But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” 1 Timothy 5:8,  these were the opening words by Rev. Barnabas Kathembo  parish vicar Karambi COU to the parents gathered for Karambi for meeting on prevention of violence against children . The neighborhood assembly held on 22nd march 2017 was attended by over 100 parents, the Sub County Chief Karambi, the OC police, the sub county councilor Karambi and the SMC and PTA members of primary schools in Karambi. The key objective was to sensitize citizens/ parents on community prevention mechanism of violence against children in the sub county.
john Silco addressing parents and citizens at Karambi

The neighborhood assembly is a platform that gives the local community opportunity to interact with sub county children protection committee, child rights activists, political leaders, police and civil servants to discuss prevention mechanism of violence against children in schools and families. The specific focus was on ways of supporting adolescent girl children with menstruation hygiene and proper nutrition to avoid stunted growth, providing girls space and materials to use and ensure good sanitation and hygiene and ways end to violence against children in families.
The sub county chief Karambi Ms. Ruth Masika, Rev. Barnabas and John Silco from RIC-NET highlighted the common case of violence against children as poor parenting practices, child labour, not providing proper meals and essential items, corporal punishment and use of abusive language to children at school and home.
The children performed drama and songs that depicted how parents mistreat them, how they are denied education to go to the markets or cotton farms on school days or carry heavy luggage or even baby sit their siblings as their mothers engage in business.
Karambi P Sch Children Dramatize Violence Against Children


The parents were touched and resolved to support schools efforts to provide sanitary material to girl children, to put mechanism for lunch meals or porridge in schools and put bye laws to control children absenteeism from schools. Over 60 parents were enrolled as farmers to pilot good nutrition practices and grow specific nutritious crops.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

NOT ENDING NOW

A poem titled “note ending” was recited by one Kanyama Nikodemus a members of MUSA youth group during the grassroots’ sensitization meeting held at Kasitu sub county headquarters. It’s showed the we must not kill or hate other for the sake of the visitor. In this case the visitor was described as person who incites violence but is not affected at all or stay away from the scene leaving the people to suffer, and at the end take up all the property the people have left during the struggle.

United integrated children development action (UNCIDA) organized a sensitization meeting that attracted the youth and villages leaders of Kasitu Sub County. These leaders were carefully selected from those villages that were hit by the post election violence in the District. the meeting was conducted on 28/3/2017.Kasitu is inhabited by both the Bamba and the Bakonzo and in this action we are trying to address the challenge of “how ethnicity has contributed to the occurrence of conflicts in the area”.

Participants sited intimidation from people who claim to be more connected than other, erection of sign posts on markets and health centers belonging to OBB, Some members in the communities still think of revenge against their neighbours who might have done wrong against them, especially those whose houses were burnt, plantations destroyed and lost loved one in the hands of certain people.

It was resolved that members should intensify internal mobilization of the people from the community. They heighted the importance of the 10 house mobilization strategy as it’s used in Tanzania. That village can be clustered into 10’s house to ensure flow/dissemination of information. This still can help in monitoring of characters that can be involved in bad act that leaving the security to the LCI leaders? Clustering can make it possible to identify the enemies of peace and co-existence and remedies put in place as soon as possible.

Monday, March 27, 2017

OUR CULTURE OUR IDENTITY.

The Batwa minority community grass root meeting of the Batwa community was conducted on Friday 24 /3/2017 at the Batwa Catholic Church in Bundimasoli-Ntandi town council. There are 18 household of the Batwa, estimated to be 70 people living in Bundimasoli town of Ntandi town council bundibugyo district.55 members 36 male and 18 females, attended. 3 members from the CBOs attended 2 male and 1 female and local area councilor one female. The facilitators for the training on Human rights promotion were C/asp Okello Vincent, Mr. Mugisa Robert the ED of UNCIDA and Sr.Angelica and the Animator/promoter of children’s rights at Bugombwa parish.
meeting at the Batwa church.
The community meeting was on the understanding of their rights and how they can achieve them in more peaceful way.

Some of the rights and freedom put on the forefront were; right to education, right to freely associate with others, to have effective access in the government of his or her country and in the conduct of public affairs, right to have access to public resources, right to participate in the leadership of the community.

During the sensitization meeting, the Batwa agreed their culture is their identity but to promote and share that identity with other, there is need to; support their children attain education as one of the ways to fight ignorance and prepare them for the future, Fights drug abuse and over drinking by willingly surrender those found drinking to the police or support police to arrest those found in drug abuse. 

Engage in small scale business and doing handcraft to support their families with alternative source of income apart from depending on donations and participate in the governance of the area especially in the forth coming election such that their voices can also be heard.

Friday, March 24, 2017

PTA KYABIKERE PRIMARY AND RICNET CONSTRUCTS GIRLS' WASHROOM

Kyabikere primary school is located in Kitholhu Sub County near the Uganda- Congo border and in the mountainous areas which makes it a hard to reach area (school ).


The school has one latrine which  is used by both boys and girls and also used by girls to change during their menstrual periods. This exposes girls to poor sanitation and hygiene and also there is no privacy. 
 
The school administration and PTA initiated construction of a two stance latrine but it was small compared to the number of girls at the school  and  had not put into consideration the element of a  washroom.
During one of our meetings at the school the school administration and PTA requested for support  from RIC-NET to enable them finish the latrine but RIC-NET challenged them to increase the depth of the latrine and add a washroom so that this can help girls at the school to handle their menstrual periods  well.   
The head teacher said that he believes with the construction of the washroom it will improve girls regular attendance and enable them stay in school. So, the parents agreed and constructed a four stance toilet with a washrooms.


KARAMBI COMPLETES CONSTRUCTION OF WASHROOM FOR GIRLS.

planning on completion of washroom








Most schools do not have washrooms for girl children to use for changing during their menstruation periods .This was a bit different with Karambi primary school which had an incomplete washroom which was not in use though. The incomplete washroom was started with support from PTA but was not completed due to lack of funds. 




The school requested for support from RICNET which welcomed the idea of finishing the incomplete building to enable girl children at the school to have a proper place for handling their menstrual periods which will enable them attend regularly and stay in school.


This support gave relief to the girls who had always suffered a challenge of lack of privacy, good sanitation and hygiene during menstruation while at school. The senior woman teacher Miss Eva was heard saying at least her work as senior woman teacher will be eased by completion of the washroom.




     
 completed  washroom

The washroom will be equipped with items to make it a better place for the girls and some of  the items will include ;basins ,jerrycans,pads ,soap ,towel among other items .


                                  completed  washroom


The incomplete washroom 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN CAN BE REDUCED STARTING RIGHT AT FAMILY LEVEL



These were words of Mr Paul Mukokoma who was a facilitator at the training of child rights activists in Kitholhu Sub County on 15th March 2017 at Kitholhu sub county head quarters who  urged the child rights activists to center their work of protecting children’s rights at family level because  change begins at house hold level and if the communities are to change in regard to promoting and protecting children’s rights they should start with the families and the whole community will change. He further urged them to keep the spirit of voluntarism in protecting children’s rights and that they shouldn’t give up even though they face challenges sometimes such as sabotage during protection and promotion of children’s rights. 
 The training that was organized by RIC-NET under the project of community driven approaches to prevent violence against children and adolescents in Kasese District aimed at refreshing the activist’s knowledge on the concept of violence against children, understanding common causes of violence against children and equipping them with knowledge about national, regional and international legal frame works governing violence against children which they can use as tools for defending their work.
Participants during a group exercise
The parish chief of Kitholhu Mr. Kato Stephen who also attended the training encouraged the activists to work together as a team and always seek guidance from each other and refer complicated cases of child rights violations in their areas to relevant officials like the Police, probation office and the office of the CDO if they are to achieve the aims of their voluntary work of protecting and promoting children’s rights.
one of the participants presenting  group work