Friday, March 30, 2012


In a bid to celebrate the I6 days of activism the GBV Prevention network organized the Everyone, Everyday, Everywhere campaign of reducing gender based violence. As part of its activities it organized the What`s your way face book competition. It attracted many contestants from the region who were asked to write short essays of not more than 200 words. I participated in the competition and emerged the first runner up. As part of the prizes, winners were supposed to visit an organization of their choice in their country of origin to learn and share experiences on Gender Based violence.

I decided to visit Moroto to witness the FGM practices among the Karamajong. I was hosted by Concern worldwide Uganda and Karamoja Women Organizations Umbrella Group (KAWOU).


On March 20th 2012 I boarded a bus to Moroto. I was also still anxious that I had not yet seen any naked people along the way to confirm that we were going to Karamoja. As we crossed over the border from Soroti into Karamoja the difference was startling. There was no food. Everywhere I have been in Uganda, regardless of the poverty, food grows like weeds. Suddenly I felt like I had been transported to the Sahara desert. There was miles and miles of flat, dusty land broken by single small Rocky Mountains and very few villages. The isolation means Moroto stands out as you approach. It is how I can explain it and with no electricity but thousands of NGOs rather than homes and big shops or casinos. There were wooden built shops along the road and many bars made of mud and sticks resembling the “manyattas” the karamajong enclosed homes with neatly built sticks and shrubs.


Then the violence begins, as the bus offloads some passengers along the way a young man carrying flour on a bicycle in his youth is trying to negotiate along the small road to pass. He finally knocks an elderly woman fit to be her mother as she had grey hair. The woman was along the way staring at the bus with other women chanting. The young man and the lady trip and fall in the ditch. As am staring the young man starts slapping the woman as the other people are looking. This was a real shock the old lady was being beaten as other people were looking on.

Finally around 9pm we arrive in Moroto town. I was startled because I had never seen thousands of NGOs in Uganda and small community organizations run from someone’s front room or a small shed-like office. Walking around town was like a who’s who of the development world with representation from every major ‘donor country’. All have big 4x4s and imposing offices with big compounds.


I arrive at Concern Worldwide Uganda. Am the first to arrive at their gate and find when they are still closed. After an hour Swaibu a programme officer arrives and opens the office, he welcomes me warmly and briefs me about the work they are doing on GBV, a project they are implementing with KAWOU. He informs me that the women are the bread winners and men just wake up to go and drink or raid cattle in the neighboring villages. The traditional method of survival being pastoralist thus cattle are the main source of conflict. He then directs me to KAWOU which is just a stone throw away from the concern worldwide compound.


I approach and knock at the entrance and there seems not to be any sign of an office operating in the building. One lady approaches me and welcomes me inside and I introduce myself to her. She hesitates and says she knows nothing regarding my visit to the organization minutes later a lady comes in and greets me. As am staring at the printed pictures on the wall another lady beaming with joy approaches and asks if am Andrew, which I reply yes, she reaches out her hand for a hand shake and tells me she was waiting for me.

I notice that there are only 4 chairs in the whole office with at least 3 tables. As we seat Helen Asekenye, Programme Officer KAWOU is not happy at all. She calls Josephine a case manager to attend the small interaction meeting with us. I start by introducing myself and the purpose for the visit. But as I begin highlighting my questions I realize they don’t have any statistics on any GBV victims let alone knowledge on GBV despite the fact that it is part of their main activities and areas of work. They tell me they coordinate over 2000 women groups in 7 districts in the Karamoja region. As part of their work they are supposed to follow up cases of Violence against women and children, encourage victims to come out, attend court sessions on GBV victims and encourage people to give evidence in the courts of law. But all these are just dreams as they are not functioning at all.


I ask Helen if they have a Board, she tells me that they have a board of 12 members where the Chairperson and the Executive Director are men. They only have one computer which is being used by the accountant and shared by everyone else in the office. I get to know that actually they have three computers (2 desktops and one laptop). The other computer is stationed in the ED`s office that is always locked and the laptop is also being used by the Executive Director who moves with it all the time with the organizational internet modem. I inquire why the ED is not in his office, they tell me that they don’t know. I discover that he can be away for almost 3months without any delegation notes to any one. They disclose to me that the women groups have also lost hope in them. They last had a meeting with the different women groups 6months back. She tells me that they never have staff meetings and the board meetings are also very rare as the members have lost hope in the organization. I ask what she is doing at the organization and she informs me that she is implementing a project with the IRC but doesn’t even know anything about the work plan, beneficiaries and budget.

I visited the Central Police station where I went to the Family protection Unit and discovered that GBV was visible as I found two women with bandages reporting about their problems and incidents. They told me that the forms of GBV included Rape which was very rampant, FGM, child marriage, trafficking of girls and women and domestic violence.

I decided to hike the mountains with him to find the much talked about woman who used to cut the young girls. We tracked her down as she came back from collecting firewood. She explained to us that she had stopped after realizing the dangers it had on the young girls. But she informed us that despite the fact that for her she stopped, other young girls are still being sneaked into Kenya so they are circumcised from their.


This time I was going to go deep down into the Matheniko area. I observed that this area was flat and with no visible food crops being grown apart from sign posts from the NUSAF OPM projects. In this area like the others so many young girls were pregnant with the women. We reached the small village deep down in the matheniko sub county near the wild reserve where I met a small group of women weaving and making beads. They told me they sometimes went without food due to the fact that their gardens had dried up. Some women also get to eat the remains of the ajon the men drink to sleep in a bid not to feel hungry. I met a lady who told us that abrupt rapes in Karamoja have also led to marriages. Girls normally go for firewood and water far away from home and the young men stock and forcibly subject them to abrupt rape without prior courtship but because the boys’ parents have cows, the parents of the girls still go ahead and sanction the marriage. Also when bride wealth considerations of parents compel the girl to marry a man she is not in love with, she usually commits suicide and many Karamojong girls are known to have killed themselves to escape a forced marriage. Others run away from home and elope with men of their hearts.

One of the most startling things whilst I was there was the isolation of the region, logistically and culturally. The scarcity of resources and lack of income make most things twice the price of the rest of Uganda. The town runs on one huge generator which had run out of petrol when I visited (they wait two or three weeks for fuel to be transported from Kampala) so the hum of NGO generators provided background for the day’s work.

I thank the GBV team for offering this nice chance and creative exposure and for facilitating my trip. There is no way I can say am happy and grateful but continue with the work you are doing.

ACFODE (Action for Development) for showing me the way, identification and always giving me a space to learn more about the women’s movement. The time I have spent there is worth my career in fighting for the women’s rights.

Concern Worldwide Uganda and KAWUO for warmly welcoming and hosting me into Moroto district.

I encourage many other youth to join the fight against all forms of Gender Based Violence in Uganda.


Andrew Ssekirevu



Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Project: Building Citizen’s Resilience in the Promotion of Violence Free Families and Communities

With funding from the Open Society Institute, ACFODE is implementing a one year project on Building Citizen’s Resilience in the Promotion of Violence Free Families and Communities in Oyam and Apac districts.

The project seeks to educate and empower women and girls, as well as men and boys to adopt peaceful and non violent means for resolving conflicts in their lives.

Project objectives include;
 Increasing awareness on Gender Based Violence (GBV) thereby reducing the high incidence of violence against women and girls.
 Inculcating a culture of non violent relationships between men, women, boys and girls within the community.
 Promoting community led advocacy for access to justice by women who experience GBV.

Recently, a community based/ driven approach that involved the selection and training of Community Agents of Change (CACs) was conducted in Oyam district in the sub counties of Loro and Kamdini. 60 CACs were selected on their ability to create awareness and gain the commitment of decision makers and community members for this noble cause. These included; religious and cultural leaders, members of the local council, members of youth, men and women groups as well as health workers. We believe that their support in this project will be a powerful tool to advocate for the changes this project wants to bring about.

After the selection, the CACs were trained on the concepts of human rights, gender based violence and conflict resolution whilst putting emphasize on their roles and responsibilities in the promotion of human rights and in prevention of GBV within the local community.

During the training, they expressed gratitude to ACFODE for involving them in the project because it availed them the opportunity of exercising their power in a positive way. They also realized that as key leaders in the community, they have a greater role to play in responding to and in preventing GBV and as such, made some commitments.

For instance one of the clan leaders in Kamdini Sub County agreed to meet with different clan leaders to discuss so they can deliberate on issues of GBV while bearing in mind that they have a big role to play in responding to and in preventingit. Religious leaders also committed to use their platform to condone GBV while preaching.

However during the trainings, a few shocking issues emerged and they include;
“The whole idea of human rights has broken many families. Women are neglecting their responsibilities because of human rights.” Remark made by one female participant.
“It is okay for men to sleep around with many women for as long as the ‘main’ woman doesn’t find out.” Remark made another female participant.

With such attitudes still in the community, and especially amongst women, I think we all realize and agree that there is still a lot we need to do to address GBV.
Good news is that in response to such comments, clarifications were made by the facilitators and by the end of the training, participants were made to understand and appreciate issues around gender and human rights.

Most participants commended ACFODE for the training. The LC 2 Chair person (Ocini Parish) for instance remarked that “we have had so many CSOs train on GBV but we have never tackled the issue in depth with the way ACFODE has done.” In regard to the trainings also, Community Based Services and the CFPU Departments applauded ACFODE for her efforts in bridging the gap between their departments and the local communities.

Compiled By:
Margaret Ssebunya
Programmes Assistant: Economic Policy Department
Action For Development


Currently, there is a growing need on a national scale to target young people because of their ability to advance change. Available statistics reveal that 78.4 percent of the Uganda’s population is below 30 years of age. They are social actors of change and can serve as a pressure group to lobby governments in defining their priorities. It has been clearly stressed that “youth are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but are the partners of today.

Even then, it is impossible for any organization to effectively move forward without the plan for growth and sustainability. One of the ways Action For Development (ACFODE) has effectively done this is through its internship and volunteer program which has equipped beneficiaries with skills in research, public speaking, documentation/ information dissemination and different styles of leadership in preparation for the competitive economy. After the trainings, interns and volunteers are in a much better place to behave professionally since they are exposed to a dynamic environment of professionals while at ACFODE.

However, because of a great desire to have much more impactful results most especially with young women professionals, ACFODE has been inspired to start a program that specifically addresses their professional and life needs. The program involves listening to participants’ needs, giving them professional advice and providing them with an insight about how life can be managed appropriately.

This is because we believe that young people who have had mentoring relationships exhibit significantly better outcomes within the domains of life for instance in education and work (completion & employment), mental health (self esteem & life satisfaction), and problem behavior (conflict management, fighting, & risk taking).

The program therefore seeks to empower and build the career and life-management potential of young women so that they appreciate and utilize the resources and opportunities around them in order to improve their livelihoods.

During the sessions, participants are supported in the transition to professionalism and adulthood, are provided with support and guidance through planned relationships with positive adults, and are empowered with knowledge and skills in different aspects of life. Our first session took place on 29th February, 2012 and attracted 20 participants. While the session was merely introductory, there were a few key issues that were flippantly discussed. They included; how to - set your life goals, seize an opportunity, and share your dreams.

Although these sessions take place every last Wednesday of the month, we are having one today (29th of March 2012) at ACFODE House in Bukoto beginning 2PM. We therefore encourage all young women to come and be part of this very inspiring moment. One of the mentors for the day is Betty Byanyima.

Entrance is free and the day’s topic is “Goal Setting.” Since the place is lively, energetic, and safe, we challenge you to COME, LEARN, NETWORK, AND INTERACT. After all, it doesn’t kill to have a little clean fun!!!

NOTE: Future modules will among other issues be on – Emotional Intelligence, Public Speaking, Financial Intelligence, Conflict Resolution, Leadership, and Team Building.

Compiled by
Sandra Nassali & Belinda Kyomuhendo
Action For Development

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mutolere Nursing School Wins ACFODE Inter Institution Debate Competitions

Amulen Winfred has a reason to boast. She and her teammate Bosco Niyizi both from Mutolere Nursing School came out on top during ACFODE’s Inter-institution debate competitions that were held at Acacia Hotel in Mbarara.

The competition, which started on Saturday the 24th of March 2012, began with 20 teams from five institutions of higher learning across Western Uganda. During the tournament, contestants were slowly whittled down through a long series of debates, culminating in Sunday’s final where Bishop Stuart University came in second after Mutolere Nursing School - which won the tournament.

‘This has been a once in a life time opportunity and I applaud ACFODE for it,’’ said Naturinda Evelyn, the winner of the Best Female Speaker Award.

In each debate, there was only one resolution at play, and the weekend’s topics ranged from ‘the woman seat in parliament should be abolished,’ to ‘this house believes that the woman is the best man for the job.’

Competitors learnt about their resolutions only 15 minutes before the debate rounds. Each team would then start with a seven-minute overview of their argument for, or against a certain proposition. The winning team from Mutorere Nursing School for instance successfully argued against a mock resolution that ‘this house should abolish quotas for women in parliament.’

Kenneth Opolot – the Senior Adjudicator and a former debate champion from CRY Uganda noted that: ‘This shows that debates don’t only rely on specialized knowledge, but are also an exercise that fosters logical thinking and persuasive speaking.”

Participating institutions included; Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Bishop Stuart University, Mutorere Nursing School from Kisoro, Kabale University, and Kabale National Teachers’ College.

At the end of the tournament, all participants were awarded with Certificates of Participation. Michael Kabushenga - winner of the Best Male Speaker Award had this to say about the debates: ‘I am glad that although ACFODE is a women focused civil society organization, it also considers bringing young men like me on board. I therefore pledge to fight for women’s rights because now I have a clear understanding about them. And because of this, I am going to work towards improving my attitude in as far as women and girls are concerned.’

Since 2010, ACFODE with generous support from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) has carried out inter institution debate competitions all over the country as a strategy for deepening and sustaining the gender equality and good governance campaign.

Participants are engaged and mentored into different gender and good governance dynamics as they are challenged to acquire information and to share their findings in a persuasive way (British Parliamentary Debate format). They are also mentored into eloquent, articulate and fast thinking individuals.

Compiled By
Sandra Nassali
Public Relations & Communications Officer
Action For Development

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Preparations for the Inter Institution Debate Competitions Kicked Off in Western Uganda

The debate trainings that took place from the 12th -18th March 2012 , in the Western Uganda under the theme “ Gender equality and Good Governance ”were kicked off on a very interesting and lively note .As the students from the different institutions took to the stage, names like Ms.Jennifer Musisi ,Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, Ms. Maggie Kigozi and Ms Allen Kagina could be heard over and over again .It was interesting and exciting to note that names like these are slowly replacing names such as Hon. Miria Matembe and Winnie Byanyima that have dominated the various debates on women’s contribution to the fabric of Uganda.

The debates trainings involved 5 higher institutions of learning in Western Uganda namely; Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Bishop Stuart University, Mbarara, Mutorere Nursing School in Kisoro, Kabale University and Kabale National Teachers’ College. These trainings were held in preparation for the Western region debate tournament due to take place on the 24th and 25th March 2012 in Mbarara district.

The debates are implemented in line with one of ACFODE’s projects - Empowered to Act: Enhancing Youth and Women’s Effective Participation in Politics and Decision Making that is supported by Konrad Adenaeur Stiftung (KAS). Under this project, ACFODE uses the debate approach to build the capacity of youths and women leaders so that they can effectively participate in the promotion of gender equality and good governance since they are mentored into eloquent, articulate and fast thinking individuals.

During the trainings, students showed much enthusiasm and commitment, and expressed their gratitude to ACFODE for involving them (youth) in her programming. They noted that this would go along away in informing them about the strides being made in the promotion of gender equality and good governance at the national and community level.
They said that this experience would not only boost their self esteem, but would enrich their analytical and presentation skills as well because for the most of them, this was going to be the first time they ever expressed themselves before a big audience.

ACFODE believes that this initiative that involves empowering young people is worth taking on because it’s not until young people who are the adults of tomorrow are inculcated into understanding the equality between women and men, and girls and boys, that efforts to bring about gender equality in society will continue to face formidable huddles.

At the beginning of the trainings, the students exhibited weak argumentation and analytical skills but as the trainings carried on, their skills improved immensely and they started presenting coherent and well thought out arguments. And although female debaters were given priority, male participants were equally encouraged to participant.

At the end of the trainings, participants were given a number of information, communication, and education materials (ICEs) on gender and good governance so that they do ample research in preparation for the debate tournament that is due to take place this weekend in Mbarara.

We promise to keep you posted about the tournament outcomes.

Compiled by
Daphine Agaba
Programs Assistant
Human Rights & Governance Department
Action For Development

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Civil Society Representatives in Kabale trained on Good Governance and Accountability

Between 26th-29th February 2012, 18 civil society representatives from Kabale district were trained as trainers to effectively conduct grassroots civic education under the project “Action for strengthening Good Governance and Accountability in Uganda,” which is being implemented by ACFODE in partnership KAS in 11 districts across the country.

Under the facilitation of Perry Aritua, Director of Women’s Democracy Network - Uganda Chapter, participants were equipped with the appropriate skills and knowledge on how to plan and implement civic education activities at grass root level. What was most impressive about this vibrant group was the fact that they showed commitment to use already existing systems in their organizations and their communities to carry out civic education. Many suggested the use of local community groups and places of worship as spaces in which they could talk about issues of democracy promotion.

During the training, it was also suggested by participants that CSOs adjust the governing structures within their organizations to support the values of good governance and accountability so as to enable them operate more smoothly, and to give them credibility as organizations that promote such noble values. Another recommendation was that the CSOs include programmes on civic education in their organizational strategic plans.

On the issue of lack of resources to mobilize community members to attend these trainings, it was suggested that they use influential community members to pull in the masses.

Because of the fact that the CSO actors were conversant with procedures on how to make entry into a community to conduct activities including civic education, the ACFODE team is confident that they will successfully deliver when it comes to conducting civic education at the grassroots.

In the month of April, the trained CSO actors in groups of 4 will be facilitated to carryout grassroots civic education with the guidance of the civic education toolkit which was developed by ACFODE and KAS. The grassroots training will be carried out in the sub counties of Muko, Bubaare, Kyanamira and Ikumba in Kabale district.

Compiled by
Sheila Kinaheirwe
Project Officer – Action For Strengthening Good Governance and Accountability in Uganda
Action For Development
Tel: +256 792 737625

Friday, March 9, 2012


Recently, ACFODE organized a two days training workshop in Leadership and Advocacy for youth group leaders and child mothers in Apac district. The activity was implemented in line with the Nurturing Young Trees to make a Thick Forest project that is being implemented by ACFODE in partnership with ACORD, APPCAN, and VSO with support from Comic Relief.

The training; which took place from the 6th to the 7th of March 2012 brought together a total of 12 participants of which 6 were child mothers and 6 were youth group leaders; some of which were from Akokoro Sub County and the others from the Town council.

Its main objective was to empower participants with skills in leadership and advocacy so that they are able to effectively engage in monitoring service delivery processes in the district. Youth and child mothers were targeted specifically because this unique category of people has been left out in a number of development initiatives.

During the training, participants were exposed to a number of skills in regard to leadership and advocacy, and with information that would enable them to ably participate and benefit from development initiatives like NUSAF 11, NAADs, and the PRDP among others.

They commended the initiative/ project since it presented them with the opportunity of participating in, and benefiting from numerous development initiatives. One of the participants (a child mother) by the names of Acen Scovia confessed that there has never been any development program targeting child mothers particularly and was therefore very grateful to ACFODE and other project partners for taking special interest in them regardless of the fact that they had been rejected by many in their local communities.

Some of the issues that emerged during the training include; lack of development programs that specifically target the youth, and also ignorance about available opportunities. They also requested for more trainings in other areas like conflict management, networking, and proposal development among others.

NB: This project seeks to promote peace, reintegration and the protection of children and youth affected by the prolonged conflict in Acholi and Lango sub-regions in Northern Uganda. It focuses on improving protection and legal services for the children, providing sustainable alternative livelihoods opportunities to child mothers, effectively engaging youth with duty bearers, and also increasing the capacity of key actors to address the needs of children and youth in conflict affected areas.

Compiled by
Ofwono Salume
Project Officer – ACFODE
Nurturing Young Trees to Make a Thick Forest

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What is your say/wish for this Women’s Day? PLEASE READ & SHARE BACK!!!

International Women's Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900's. It was started as a result of women realizing that they were unfairly treated. The women started debating on issues affecting them in Europe.

Since its birth in Europe, IWD has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. For decades, IWD (March 8th)has grown from strength to strength . In Uganda the day started in the early 1980`s. It was first requested for by the then First Lady Miria Obote to be made a public holiday in the country. She made the request during one of her annual state House speeches in Entebbe. The very first ever nationally commemorated IWD was in 1986.

This year, we are celebrating the day under the theme ““Inspiring Girls, Connecting Futures”
Please read what ACFODE staff has to say about this day. And at the end, please share with us in your own words what this day means to you and all women world over.

Regina Bafaki
Executive Director

Women’s Day is a day that should be used to acknowledge women’s achievements and recognize their deeds. On this day, we should pay tribute to the women who have lost their lives due to poor facilities, those who have lost their lives at the hands of their partners and those women who continue to suffer to bring food on their tables and yet are not acknowledged but rather shunned and tortured.

Women’s day should also be a time when we stalk of what the government and the different partners have done to advance women’s empowerment. However, despite the commitments and the domestication of the different treaties, programs put in place, there is still a challenge of their implementation and in all that is being done that is in decision making and policy making among others , where is the woman and are the roles of the women recognized?

And just like the theme states, we must keep connected with each other i.e. for age mates and future generations for purposes of mentoring, shared learning and supporting each other so that we make the future better. If we do not, the world will blame us and besides who will support us?

As we commemorate this day, we should also condemn greedy leaders, all acts of violence against women and girls, and cultural practices that dehumanize women.
Wishing everyone a happy Women’s Day!

Becky Murray
Social Policy Analyst

Sending love and positivity to all the women who are suffering in Uganda and elsewhere on International Women's Day 2012! I hope the work of ACFODE and organizations like her continues to effect change such that you and your daughters get to experience the freedom and happiness you deserve.

Patricia Otuka-Karner
Technical Assistant

The date of the International Women’s Day is quite significant. The female workers of a textile factory in New York started a strike to advocate for better living and working conditions. The owners of the factory locked them inside to limit solidarity with others and when a fire broke out, 129 of them died. I believe remembering this occasion every year as a symbol of the struggle of women all over the world is encouraging. Their bravery and commitment has to be acknowledged and we can gain strength from it to move our own cause forward.

Joyce Nabaloga
Finance & Administration Manager

Women are the real architects of society. Happy Women’s Day!!

Sandra Nassali
Public Relations & Communications Officer

I am proud to say that today in Uganda and world over; we have lots of women who share the ideal of creating a world where women can enjoy equal rights with men. They see their mission as helping fellow women, who can’t speak for themselves and who cannot keep promises of better and more egalitarian lives. They are living the legacy of women's rights that eight generations of women before us gave their best to achieve.

Women, acting together, adding their small stones to the grand mosaic, have increased their rights against all odds, nonviolently, from an initial position of powerlessness. They have a lot to be proud of in this heroic legacy, and a great deal to celebrate on this day. They have clearly been successful in irrevocably changing the circumstances and hopes of fellow women.

In the world of work, large numbers of women have entered the professions, the trades, and businesses of every kind. Ranks of the clergy, the politicians, the military, and the newsrooms among others have been opened up for women from their ‘traditional’ roles of house chores.

As women, we should be proud of these achievements.

However, though much has been accomplished, a lot still remains to be done since substantial barriers to the full equality of Africa's women still remains before our freedom.

So, Women’s Day should be one of those days that challenges all of us to tackle these remaining injustices in the courts and conference rooms, in homes and organizations, workplaces and playing fields of different states in the continent.

But with all of this going on, we should never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has as Alice Paul, that intrepid organizer who first wrote out the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923, said, "I always feel that the women’s movement is sort of a mosaic. Each of us puts in one little stone, and then you get a great mosaic at the end."

Happy Women’s Day people 

Sheila kinaheirwe
Project Officer

As we celebrate the constant struggles and accomplishments of women across the world on this day, let us remember to continue to pave way for the future generation of strong women because the small daily challenges we take on to make a difference in the lives of other women, can over time add up to big differences we may not have ever foreseen. Happy Women’s Day!

Margaret Ssebunya
Programs Assistant

To all women and girls in Uganda and the world at large, Happy Women’s Day!!
In as much as we have registered a number of achievements in many areas, there are very many challenges still affecting us and hindering the realization of our rights. However, we have a number of unexploited potentials and opportunities to embrace. As our theme for the year states “Inspiring Girls, Connecting Futures” I call upon all Ugandans in their different capacities to inspire the girl child to enjoy a better future.

Rachael Mpiriirwe
Assistant Project Officer

Happy Women’s day! We have come a long way and we do really need to celebrate this day because we hold the future of this nation. Happy Women’s Day every one!!

Evas Korugyendo
Accounts Assistant

This time round, let us focus on women’s empowerment through social and economic security. Happy Women’s Day!!

Hellen Mirembe
Administrative Assistant

International women’s Day is a day to recognize women’s rights that have been violated for years so that they can be appreciated. Bravo to all the women in the world!

Ssekirevu Andrew

After 50years of Uganda’s independence, there is no better to say that women in Uganda are proud of their achievements. I wish all the women of Uganda a happy International Women’s Day and fight to be heard. BIG UP!

Belinda Kyomuhendo

The woman and girls of Uganda have come a long way…. Congratulations!! But there is still a long way to go. Let’s not give up. Happy Women’s Day!!

Esther Namitala

If you could see it from my perspective, you would know that you are one GEM of a woman! Happy Women’s Day!!

Robinah Nafuna
Office Assistant

Despite the miles moved by women, they are still mistreated by their husbands. Therefore they should work harder to ensure that they achieve their dreams, should stop mistreating and abandoning their children but instead love them, and as they aim at achieving all these, they should not forget their families and their roles. Happy Women’s Day!

Ainomugisha Happy

Bravo women of Uganda but don’t forget the fight is for your rights is still on. Therefore, I encourage you to stay focused and keep on the road.

So, what is your say/wish? We can't wait to hear it!!

Complied by:
Sandra Nassali
Andrew Ssekirevu
Esther Namitala
Public Relations & Communications Department
Action For Development

Thursday, March 1, 2012

ACFODE to implement a new project on “Prevention and Handling of Cases of Sexual Violence against Girls and Women”

With funding from EIRENE, ACFODE has for the last 3 years been implementing a project entitled “Prevention of Sexualized Violence against Women and Girls” in Kisoro and Pallisa districts. The project sought to enable women and girls to realize their full potential by living a life free from sexual violence (rape, defilement and any other form of sexual harassment) since more often than not, women and girls are affected extremely by such evil acts.

Last year however, the first phase of the project came to an end.

Nonetheless, we are more than pleased to report EIRENE has offered to support ACFODE in another phase of this project that will run for the next 3 years i.e. 2012/2014.

The new project entitled “Prevention and Handling of Cases of Sexual Violence against Girls and Women” will focus on Kisoro District and will put a spotlight on national level advocacy and enforcement of women’s rights in Uganda.

The project’s main objective is to contribute to supporting women’s rights and banning discrimination against women through public institutions in Uganda. Its goal is to ensure that women and girls in Kisoro are socially and culturally empowered to enforce their rights and suffer less from sexual violence.

Amongst the main activities planned for this year is the opening of an ACFODE chapter in Kisoro Town. Since there is no other organisation working directly with human- and women’s rights in Kisoro we saw the urgent need to do so. ACFODE will have one project staff based in Kisoro. S/he will be well versed with local conditions and able to speak the local language. S/he will also be supported by a counsellor for psychosocial support and possible legal advice. This will fill a great gap i.e. service delivery and will also enable women and girls in Kisoro to enforce their rights and suffer less from sexual violence.

Cooperation with the existing CODERASH (COmbating DEfilement, RApe and Sexual Harassment) will be continued and new committees in other sub-counties will be founded. This is because the intervention proved very successful in the first phrase of project implementation since many cases of sexualised violence were been handled, followed up and prevented through the efforts of the CODERASH Committees. Also, a strong focus on strengthening relations with school environments will be set. Already, the project has a good partnership with the inspectorate of schools. This however has been trickled down to the actual school communities since sexualised violence within their settings is still rampant.

Kisoro was selected because it was one of the marginalised districts in the country in terms of interventions meant to battle sexualized violence. This coupled with its common borders with Rwanda and the DRC challenges the project with its uniqueness. In this instance, ACFODE will study the cross-border issues and try to incorporate them in this project for further impact.

Beneficiaries are the girls and women of Kisoro who are affected by sexual violence. In the extended target group there are further members of government as well as all men and women in the project area who are to be informed about human and especially women’s rights through awareness-raising measures therefore ensuring less crimes and a more stable and safe society for everyone. On the national level, female and male members of parliament are one of the most important target groups since ACFODE will need their support when it comes to lobbying laws and policies aimed at preventing violence against women and girls.

Already, ACFODE has received technical support for the project from EIRENE. Recently, colleagues from EIRENE Germany, Mr Martin Lohnecke and Ms Iris Bildhauer came for a visit at ACFODE/Uganda to see the good work done during the last three years and to also discuss further prospects. Both were impressed by ACFODE’s efforts, results and the high motivation of the secretariat!

Feel free to get in touch with us in case of recommendations or queries. We promise to keep you posted on future activities.

Patricia Otuka-Karner
Technical Assitant EIRENE – ACFODE