LASPNET GBV AWARENESS DAY EXCITES THE RESIDENTS OF BUKOLOTO; KAYUNGA AND SURROUNDING AREAS

06 July 2022 -
Written by Laspnet
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LASPNET in partnership with Kayunga district leadership convened its second GBV awareness day in Kayunga district on the 26th of May 2022 under the -EU project titled “Empowering the Formal and Informal Justice Actors to respond and Handle GBV in the districts of Mukono, Kayunga and Buikwe.”

School children from Ndeeba Church of Uganda and community members participate in the match during the GBV Annual Awareness Day in Kayunga district on 26th May, 2022

Similarly, like in Buikwe district, the awareness day was aimed at strengthening GBV response and prevention as well as increasing awareness about GBV in the district under the project campaign slogan “Let us join hands to fight GBV among women and children” literally translated as “Tukwatire wamu okumalawo okabasanya abakyala na’baana.” The eventattracted a total of 313 (M: 127; F: 186) participants who included project partners like UCLF, UGANET and JCU, district leadership, JLOS actors, paralegals, GBV Community Watch Committees (CWCs), community members and GBV district partners such as Makerere Walter Reed Project (MUWRP).

The day’s activities which were flagged off by the Chief Guest Hon.  Justice Eva Luswata started with marching at Bukoloto round about. The marching community included the Ndeeba Church of Uganda Primary School pupils, district stakeholders, community members, LASPNET staff, LASPs, the brass band, skaters and Mr Golola Moses, the GBV Ambassador. As the march headed towards the Kayunga District Headquarters which was 4.8 kilometres away, the tune of the brass band and the thrilling stunts of the skaters captivated the people of, Bukoloto, Kayunga, surrounding areas and the procession grew bigger.

Therefore, with the excitement of the brass band melodies and the humorous figure of kickboxing champion, Mr Golola Moses, the procession was a spectacle in Kayunga town. The pupils of Ndeeba Primary school and the community could not hold their joy as they sang and cheered to the sound of the trumpets, brass band and side drums while the skaters distributed GBV sensitizations posters and flyers as they swung themselves across the dark tarmac. The procession was welcomed at the district headquarters by refreshments from the LASPNET secretariat team and entertainment from Bakunga Cultural Dancers who sang and performed calming but informative GBV music.

At the main function, several district leaders including the Deputy RDC Mr. Mawerere Peter and Deputy CAO Mr. Daris Kaggwa welcomed everyone to the district and expressed their gratitude to LASPNET and the European Union for choosing Kayunga as a project implementation area calling for an extension of the project in Kayunga followed by their pledge to support it in all ways.

Mr. Golola Moses, the kickboxing champion and LASPNET’s GBV ambassador made powerful introductory remarks about GBV. He spoke passionately about the need to have children trained in the best practices that promote gender equality so as to have a progressive generation to come. He noted the high rate of school dropout among school children and recognized the fact that these dropouts usually have talents that have not been developed. He was quoted saying;

…. when children drop out of school, they become idle and are more susceptible to being perpetrators and victims of gender-based violence in the community. I therefore call upon parents and teachers to ensure that their children obtain quality education in addition to naturing their talents. This will help them to earn a living hence a way of preventing economic violence…

The Chairperson of the National Women’s Council in Uganda, Hajjat Farida Kibowa added her voice in appreciating LASPNET for the spirited fight for the promotion of the rights of women and children.  She articulated the causes of GBV in community to include patriarchal societies, history of abuse on one of the spouses, alcohol abuse among others. She thus urged the community to be sensitive and alive to the cause if they have to fight the scourge. She informed the guests that when she saw the bicycles distributed by LASPNET in Kayunga to community persons including women to fight GBV, she was challenged to support this noble cause by also providing additional bicycles to support the work of community watch committees in fighting GBV. These were handed over immediately after her remarks.

Hajjat Faridah Kibowa was quoted saying;

“….. I thank LASPNET for providing bicycles to the community persons to respond to GBV in the communities especially by also engaging women who are most targeted. For this reason, I have also added five bicycles to facilitate more CWCs in the fight against GBV in Kayunga district…..”

The Chief Executive Officer at LASPNET in her remarks after recognition of guests in their different capacities, took time to inform the guests about the 1.9 billion shillings project offered by the European Union to implement numerous activities to change the face of women and girls in the greater Mukono district. She noted that among the activities done under the project which include among others the GBV Baseline Study, Legal Support to GBV through LASPs, Capacity building trainings and GBV community outreaches and dialogues.

In her remarks, she decried the high prevalence of GBV in the areas as referenced in the Annual Police Crimes report of 2020 and confirmed under LASPNET baseline study of February 2021 which justified the necessity of the project. However, due to project interventions and according to the subsequent police report of 2021, Buikwe was off the list of GBV hot spots in Uganda. She hoped that the same had been achieved in Kayunga. She thus implored all stakeholders to focus on mind-set change in their communities to ensure progress. Conclusively, she made a passionate call to the RDC to use his office to advocate for the lifting of the ban on DGF as the only way legal aid services would continue in the district given the absence of a state funded legal aid scheme. Lady Justice Eva Luswata while giving her key note speech was impressed with joy the fact that children had been put at the forefront of the march and the event as a whole to the extent of providing them with seats just like other guests. She added that it is a good practice because children are the future of the nation and mind set change on gender equality needs to start with them. She proceeded to emphasize the forms of gender-based violence which include economic, psychological, physical and sexual violence. Her Lordship further expounded to say that culture is one of the most fundamental enhancers of gender-based violence and there is a need to abandon cultural practices that subjugate women autonomy and participation in decision making concerning their lives.

She concluded her speech by launching the Project success story magazine titled “Joining Hands to Fight GBV: Community Change Stories.” The dummy report was signed among others by herself, the Chief Guest, the district leadership, GBV partners, LASPs, the CEO of LASPNET and a pupil at Ndeeba Church of Uganda Primary School. This was then followed by an inspection of the Justice Centres and LASPENT stalls where different publications were exhibited and explained to the guests while guests continued to be entertained with music performance from Bakunga Cultural Dancers and pupils of Ndeeba Church of Uganda Primary School.

The event was closed off by the LC V representative, Mr. Ayeyo Moses. In his remarks, Mr Ayeyo recognized the fact that tangible results had been achieved by the LASPNET project and appreciated the CEO and her team from LASPNET for the job well done.  He made a commitment that as a district they will make sure that they were to work together with LASPNET to end the vice of GBV in Kayunga district.

All in the awareness day was very much appreciated as it rejuvenated and reignited the community to continue the fight for a free and just society for women and girls through preventing and fighting GBV in Kayunga community

KAYUNGA GBV AWARENESS DAY IN PICTURES

A group photograph of some of the participants who attended the GBV awareness day in Kayunga district

Left - Right launching the success stories magazine in Kayunga District. And inspection of the GBV stalls by the Chief Guest-Hon. Lady Justice Eva Luswata (in mask).

(Left) .Mr. Golola Moses engaging children from Ndeeba PrimarySchool in a fitness exercise and also passing on GBV messages (Right) The Chairperson of the National Women’s Council in Uganda, Hajjat Farida Kibowa hands over bicycles to UCLF and CWC’s in Kayunga District.

Entertainment from Bakunga Cultural Dancers who sang and performed calming but informative music during the Gender Based Violence awareness day in Kayunga District.

(Left) LASPNET CEO Dr.Slyvia Namubiru signs the committement dummy.(Right) DPC Kayunga, the chief Magistrate Mukono -Kayunga Her Worship Tumusiime Sarah, PAS CAO Mr. Daris Kaggwa, Deputy RDC Mr. Mawerere Peter showing their copies of the Success stories Magazine.

(Left) Secretariate staff at the Laspnet Stall (Right) School children from Ndeeba Church of Uganda pose for a photo saying NO to Gender Based Violence

(Left)A group photo of the team from the LASPNET secretariat saying NO to GBV (Right) CEO LASPNET Dr. Sylvia Namubiru appreciates the children with a token during their performance

Compiled by Mr. Lincoln Kalema.