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Friday, June 23, 2017

RIC-NET STAFF BUILDS CAPACITY IN CHILD PROTECTION IN CONFLCIT SITUATIONS




Participants and management of IPSTC
 RIC-NET’s Executive Director Mr. John M Silco participated in the  training course on Child Protection organized by the International Peace Support Training Centre (IPSTC), in conjunction with the Eastern Africa Standby Force Coordination Mechanism (EASFCOM) from the 5th to 16th June 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya. The course brought together a total of 27 participants drawn from Military, Police, Correction and Civilians (NGOs) from eight countries namely, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda and Zambia.
The course which was supported by the Government of Denmark had the objectives of enhancing the participant’s understanding of Child Protection (CP), developing strategies for the prevention and response to violations against children associated with armed conflicts, creating  a common understanding among the different  Child Protection  actors during peace Support Operations (PSO) and clarify coordination of different contributions  from several actors such as the  host Government, Humanitarian Agencies, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and  UN/AU. Children are not only involved in conflict (child soldiers) but are also victims of such conflicts since the children make up about 52 % of Africa’s population.

The ten day course employed various approaches and activities including syndicate discussions, presentations, theory presented in a lecture format and observations among others which enabled participants to develop knowledge and skills required in Child Protection in PSOs. The course highlighted the conflict and post-conflict situations that expose the dynamics context that entails children protection during Peace Support Operations (PSO).
Receiving certificate from Col. I Jaldesa and Col. Claus Pedersen


A team of facilitators with rich, exciting experiences shared both challenging and enlightening presentations, case studies & stories, videos, pictures on child protection praxis. The various presenters brought out clearly among others the conceptual understanding of child protection, the six grave child protection violations and the legal frameworks and the expected responses from different actors in PSO. Participants discussed the integrated approach to different scenarios for children protection and dilemmas in different context.  They prepared the participants to appreciate diversity, doing the right thing and putting the best interest of the child first apart from self defence.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

WE HOLD THE FUTURE FOR PEACE

Students of Kabango Seed Secondary School conducted a debate on the role of leaders in the peace process in the sub county and the district in general. Under the mentorship of their Patron Mr. Masereka Amuza and Amon Basaliza, the debate was conducted in the school main hall 115 students attended 49 girls and 66 boys.

student performing role play on action of leaders after debate
During the discussions, key leaders that were highlighted a challenge to peace was politicians and cultural leaders. The students were specific on the speech and comments made by leaders to the communities that tend to incite violence. Some leaders have failed to accept defeat especially those that failed in the election and are using the youth for their political gains. Such leaders offer the youth local brew and Kavera and involve them in wrong activities.

Youth have be promised a lot that can not be realized in the short and long run, such as ownership of land, jobs, property and taking leadership position. The students mentioned that leadership of segregation incites the youth to join different camps that cause violence.

A role play was organized by the drama group to depict the actions of the leaders in conflict situation and what actions that can be done to manage conflicts and human rights violation. In the play the leaders are seen in secret meeting and after give orders to the members of the community, and thus how those orders have disrupted development and unity in the community.

Teacher Amuza guiding students on actions
The youth that resolved, most of the actions they done are merely based on mob, peer pressure, family background and ethnicity thus its time to be individually responsible for every action that is done. Always ask leaders the impact of decision made by the leaders towards the youth especially those in school. 

Leaders should be the one at the forefront and youth to follow not otherwise. A human rights club was officially formed and launched in the school what will spearhead human rights protection and promotion among the youth. 

PREACH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE TO SAVE THE COMMUNITY.

presentation of findings
Religious leaders from different denomination of bundibugyo district vow to “preach the gospel of peace” in the entire district. This was agreed upon during the training on conflict prevention and management and human rights violation that was held at the Throne of God church in bundibugyo town. The training attracted pastors, Reverands, Bishops, sheihk and catechists from Catholics, Pentecostal churches, Anglican Church, and Muslims under the umbrella of interreligious council.

During the training, the participants noted that conflicts in this areas is caused by individuals with personal interests and wants to raid on the back of the community, such categories were identified as politicians ,leaders from cultural institutions and individual self seekers. 

These people are raiding on lack of forgiveness, poverty in the community, ignorance of the laws, human greed, politics, low levels of education and cultural beliefs that exists in the communities.


Participants agreed that their work to preach peace should be motivated by the fact that we are accountable to God for the actions that we do. The evangelization process should be the save the community to protect their right especially the right to life and personal liberty to determine what is right and wrong for the good of the community.

group discussion.
Evangelization is also possible in peaceful community. Evangelization work is to be a brother’s keeper; therefore segregation of people based on clan, tribe, and nationality would mean failure to protect humanity. A committee of five religious leaders was formed that will conduct a dialogue meeting between the politicians and members from the cultural institutions

Monday, June 19, 2017

RICNET FACILITATE CHILDREN TO CELEBRATE DAY OF THE AFRICAN CHILD

The day of the African child is celebrated annually on 16th June in memory  of the black children who were shot dead in South Africa because they were protesting against   poor education and the need to be taught in their local language .The day was instituted in 1991 by the organization of African unity (OAU) in memory of the children and other people who were killed and several injured in the Soweto uprising in South Africa in 1976 .The day also arises need for improved education for the African child  .The theme for this year was accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunities for children.
Rwenzori region celebrated the day at Kitarasa primary school in Kabarole district .
The celebrations were attended by many people who included local leaders ,civil society organizations, community members and a number of schools attended the event with children presenting messages about their rights, violence against them, need to be supported by their families among others .Among the schools that participated in the celebrations was Kyabikere primary school ,a school  located in the hard to reach , hilly areas that border Uganda and Congo in Bwera –Kasese district .RIC-NET supported the pupils of this school to attend this event  to expose children to new environment ,give them an opportunity to interact with other children and also give them a bigger platform to share  issues that concern them(children' rights ,violence against children ,discrimination) .Kyabikere primary school is one of the schools under the project “community driven approaches to prevent violence against children and adolescents in Kasese district . 
 
Pupils of Kyabikere P/S presenting their song
The guest of honor at the celebrations Mr. Rwabuhinga Richard the LCV chairperson Kabarole district in his remarks thanked the civil society organizations that organized the celebrations as this makes children feel valued .He further highlighted the same challenges that children in Uganda and Africa continue to face as : parents adamantly fail to provide for their children on the excuse of poverty when they spend all they have in alcoholism , children continue to offer cheap labour in tea  plantations and fishing sites to support themselves and their families and children being forced into early marriages to become mothers at a very tender age.He urged parents and guardians to avoid this and also put into action what the children sighted out in their presentations in order to have a better generation in the future . 
 The guest of honor giving his remarks
 The organizations that organized the celebrations include :Save the children ,RWECO ,KAANA foundation, BANTWANA ,RIC-NET, KALI ,FURA , GOOD HOPE , RIDE-AFRICA ,YAHWE ,SOS children villages Fortportal , ACODEV , compassion International among others .
RIC-NET staff at the celebrations

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

More conflict affected girls in Rwamwnaja refugee camp supported with startup kits.

RIC-NET) with funding from the Global fund for children(GFC) is implementing a project "Advancing the dignity of vulnerable Conflict affected Girls" for three years now in the districts of Kasese ,Bundibugyo and Kamwenge (Rwamwanja refugee Camp) .
The project targets both conflict affected girls in school and most vulnerable refugee girls  by supporting them with livelihood (vocational) training,psycho-social and reproductive health knowledge, sanitary  and scholastic materials and start up Kits. The project support  babies of the  refugee young mothers with funds to care for thier nutrition demands and care takers as the mother embark on training.

On 31st May 2017, 12 girls who had been undergoing training for six months in hairdressing, tailoring and computer skills were handed over their start up kits. The girls were supported with sewing machines and  accessories for tailoring; salon equipment and a computer set. The aim of the startup kits is to enable the girls start up their own businesses so that they can be able to change their lives for the better.
Girls for hairdressing receive their kits to start their own businesses
The handover of the kits was witnessed by the settlement commandant Mr. Mugenyi David and the sub county chief of Nkoma Mr. Ndagiriye Karemera Alfred who in his remarks thanked RIC-NET for the great work of impacting on other peoples’ lives and urged the girls to work hard so as to change their lives for the better and also change the lives of those around them.
The tailoring girls receive their kits in the presence of sub county chief Nkoma sub county (L)

Friday, May 19, 2017

WALKING TO BE A PEACE AMBASADOR

Mugisa out ToT explains the concepts of Human rights to the participants
"I lost my brother during the conflict in Malomba village in the greater Kasitu ...today I will preach peace in my family and the neighbourhood."Juliet(aka) narrated her story after the training on conflict management and human rights protection that was conducted by MUSA a local CBO supported by RIC-NET. " 
female youth from MUSA

The training brought together 65 youth leaders from both Bakonzo, Bamba and Babwisi together who are members Malomba United Students Association and UNCIDA. The trained covered on causes of conflicts, actor and their roles, human rights protections in a conflicting environment and the role of the youth to ensure a free conflict society and co-exist and members of the same community.

The youth observed that most of them have been put in a state of believing that certain tribe/individual is/are enemies of each other either as result of beliefs in cultural institutions or individual persons in authority. “We have been kept in darkness for long time that we can’t even understand the difference between the cultural identity and cultural institution."
youth already empowered to walk for peace.
During the analysis the members observed the following; Bundibugyo does not belong to individuals but all of us, individual action should not inflict on the rights of others for example right to citizenship, rights to own property, right to life and right to participate in democratically organized elections. 

The participants agreed to always engage their leaders in dialogue such that the former are not misled into certain acts just to satisfy their leaders Egos. They also resolved to encourage other youths to fight poverty since this the prime cause of involvement in crime and drug abuse. the youths decided on a collective voice to defend their rights as youth in and out of school.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

WE ARE NOLONGER THE SAME.

women leaders from Yesu Atubaliye after the training ready
YESU ATUBALIYE is a women group in Ntotoro Sub County of Bundibugyo district. It has a membership of 13 small women groups cutting across the sub county. A total of 34 women leaders of the small groups were trained on human rights protection and promotion.  

 The purpose of the training was to empower more women with skills to address human rights challenges in the communities/sub counties where they come from. To understand the meaning of rights and duties and able to differentiate between duties and roles. And equip them with tools as a yard stick towards community sensitization of women on rights protection in the conflicting environment.

Ms Susan Muhindo stressed that, "We are no longer the same after this training. Some of these issues have been hidden from us for a long time and it is now that we understand them, for example rights as highlighted in the constitution on inheritance of property, marriage, women empowerment and minority groups."


united for co-existence.
According to the participants, who were mainly women engaged mainly in farming and smaller business, they  highlighted the issues of gender role as key in family. They mentioned that the knowledge obtained will be equally  shared with other members of their small groups including sharing in the churches. “We have been empowered to engage those in authority on our rights as women.”
At the end of the training the members composed a SONG that calls for  a talk about human rights and peaceful co-existence.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

REVISIT OUR HISTORY.

District leaders in Bundibugyo converged and in a dialogue to validate the results from the baseline study conducted by RIC-NET/RWECO on the causes of conflicts and mitigation measures to be taken to manage and prevent conflicts and human rights violations in the region. The purpose of the baseline study was to offer a better understanding of conflict and human rights situation in the region. The meeting was attended by 72 people from both local and international NGOs, District official, Cultural institutions, Political leaders, technical staff and scholars from Makerere University, and media persons.

presentation of baseline results
Participants agreed with the findings that the manner in which conflicts are being handled is not proper. It’s based on allegiance to certain cultural institution except when the matter is before court. Issues like land, animal grazing, politics and elections, marginalization of certain individuals and political patronage are causing mayhem in the district.

RDC,LC V and prime ministers of OBB and OBR during the meeting.


According to the Prime Minister of OBB, the two cultural institutions should be realistic to each other. “We must revisit our history and find out the issues that united all of us as a unit”. "I would love to visit every part of this district with ease," said the prime minister of OBR.

RDC giving his remarks.
The participants agreed that more dialogue meetings should be organized and aired live on media, that  OBB, OBR and the NGOs should popularize the Land Act and the Cultural Institutions Act through the Foot Peace Ambassadors, that conflicting individuals who lost in the elections and are still influential should be helped to reconcile and co-exist and accept the trends in politics as a game. Each indivividual should be a role model in the plight for peace.