|ACFODE ISSUES BICYCLES TO COMMUNITY AGENTS OF CHANGE|
As Ugandans continue to mourn the lives which perished in the Bududa land slide, our brothers and sisters in Apac district have a reason to smile, thanks to Action for development (ACFODE).
ACFODE in partnership with Open Society Institute are implementing a project titled: “Citizens Resilience in Promoting Violence free Families and communities in Apac District.”
The goal of the project is to educate and empower women and girls, boys and men to adopt peaceful and non-violent means for resolving conflicts in their families.
It is anticipated that through a community based driven process, awareness about gender violence and its root causes will be developed in communities along with local initiatives for resolving such issues through the transfer of skills and other appropriate initiatives.
The major objectives of the project include;
· to increase awareness on gender based violence, thereby reducing the high incidence of violence against women, girls and boys;
· to inculcate a culture of non violent relationships between men, women, boys and girls within the project communities,
· to promote community led advocacy for access to justice by women who experience gender based violence.
ACFODE is implementing this project through community agents of change. At least of 20 community agents of change (CACs) from Akokoro and Ibuje sub counties, who are trusted and believed in by the community because of their assertive nature when it comes to attitude change walked away each with a bicycle to ease their movement and accessibility of remote areas, a t-shirt for identification purposes as the executive director put it in her speech. They also received a book to consistently record the cases encountered as well as materials to refer to and also get more knowledge on the issues they are dealing with so as to enable them execute their duties diligently and effectively.
However, during the ceremony, the Executive Director of ACFODE urged community agents of change to take good care of their bicycles through servicing them in case of a problem. She said she did not want them to behave like the 100 village health teams from Masaka who suspended work over broken bicycles. The CACs were urged to be committed to their work and own the project.
The community agents of change (CACs) are expected to;
1. Follow up gender based violence
2. Reports all cases which may lead to violence
3. Hold community meetings and dialogue on how to handle gender based violence (GBV).
4. With the acquired skills, they are to handle trauma cases through counseling.
5. Compile reports and submit to ACFODE office in Apac.
6. Encourage male parties to take part in community mobilization.
7. Build trust so with members who have encountered GBV so that they can open up and share their experiences. At the end of the day, all these experiences and stories will be compiled to come up with a book entitled “THE POWER IN BREAKING THE SILENCE AGAINST GENDER BASED VIOLENCE”.
LET US ALWAYS EMBRACE SUCH DEVELOPMENTAL PROJECTS THAT ARE BROUGHT TO OUR COMMUNITIES
BY MBIGIDDE VICKY
INTERN WITH WOUGNET BASED AT KUBERE INFORMATION CENTRE APAC