The exercise involved the EIRENE project officer Great lakes region/Africa Mr. Hauke Steg, whose task was to meet the project team, monitor the progress and achievements and together identify new actions for successful implementation of the project. Among the activities conducted were; sharing of experiences, challenges and success stories, discussing way forward and drawing work plans, presentations of drama, poems and songs by pupils, and an exhibition event themed “know your role in the fight against gender based violence,” including pro-bono services such as counseling, reporting of cases, and HIV testing.
|Kabindi P/S entertaining guests at the exhibition event|
Exhibition inspection at the Mayor's garden in Kisoro District.
Stakeholders noted that there have been reduced cases of sexual violence in their areas. “Before the project’s inception, we had alarming SGBV cases in Nyarusiza Sub County and the situation has since improved as a result,” testified the Nyarusiza CDO Ms Annet Tumwebaze. “Unlike before, I rarely receive cases of sexual violence in my area.” she added. Mr. Twambaze Justus, a Parish Chief in the same sub county said that during his monitoring visits in the different parish gatherings e.g. Bataka kweterana, residents rarely report or raise sexual violence cases. Senior teachers and head teachers who have been involved in the project recognized a reduction in sexual violence cases and early pregnancies in their schools. Pupils, parents and teachers have been sensitized by their peers resulting in openness and willingness to report cases and to say no to early/unlawful sexual activities. Only the OC Kisoro Police Station still receives about the same number of sexual violence cases.
Despite the successes registered, the district is still grappling with land issues such as land ownership, inheritance and occupancy, and consent over buying and selling land which fuel sexualized gender based violence at house hold and community level. Community facilitators were therefore equipped with basic information on land rights in Uganda. In addition, stakeholders pledged to involve more men in the struggle and strategized on how to best address the project deterring issues to realize a sexual violence free society for gender equality.