Kibaale District Leadership Orientation Meeting

 Joyce project officer UYAHF seeking an explanation about rising cases of child marriage and besides her is the Team leader addressing the district leaders.

USAID-FP activity team, Uganda Youth and Adolescent health forum inclusive took part in the first orientation meeting with Kibaale district leadership on 1st of July 2020 with an intention of introducing the new project to the district but also calling upon them for their support in moving this project forward. The brief was given by the team leader who also mentioned the different partners in this partnership to reach the project goal and it was at this point that Joyce shared the role of UYAHF especially in regard to contributing to the project objective 2 that focuses on positive social norms, she went on and highlighted the key areas of intervention which included youth leadership and engagement, innovative community-led solutions, referrals, and advocacy.

After that presentation, it was noted that the existing partners in this regard are three, Mariestopes, CHAI, PPI  despite their small coverage within the limited time for instance Mariestopes does outreaches once in a quarter and in just some sub-counties. The district officials raised a couple of issues such as; the mode of funding, coordination office in Kibaale, the various side effects of family planning which prevent people from accessing these services, the limited staff at the health centers among others.

During the discussions, UYAHF was informed of key issues that they need to be mindful of as a community youth partner. 

  • Increased cases of school dropout and teenage pregnancy rates especially due to poverty, culture, poor parenting among others.
  • Limited or no  men involvement when it comes to parenting and Family Planning services
  • The need to motivate  village health teams (Vhts) since each village has five of them
  • Strong cultural beliefs as many of them attach a lot of respect to producing too many children
  • Most people are Catholics and are against the uptake of family planning services.

Opportunities for UYAHF include ;

  • The district has community structures in place like VHTs, parasocial workers, paralegals that we can utilize
  • Senior women teachers exist in schools with some already established clubs
  • No organizations specifically dealing with the issues of youth
  • The DEO himself was around for the orientation plus a representative from DCDOs office
  • Kibaale Health center iv has special days/clinics for the youth eg Tuesday is for young mothers and Wednesday for those who have never produced but in reproductive agThese days will be targeted for our meetings.

The CAO himself wished to know why Kibaale for this project and confirmation was made about the assessment done last year in regard to fertility rates from which Kibaale ranked among the highest and he accepted because of their culture that encourages them to produce a lot, after all, they still have a lot of lands that need to be utilized. It’s important to note that the people reproduce a lot so as to replace the people who died during the colonial war who totaled to over 2.4 million.

Finally, the Deputy RDC  commended the team for organizing the orientation meeting and narrated their concern about the teenage pregnancy levels that are on the rise despite interventions by Implementing Partners. She called upon leaders to be exemplary since it starts with them and when we work together then men will start accompanying their wives and decide together on the method of FP to acquire. Otherwise, every speaker was appreciative and called upon us to always reach their respective offices for any support as well as share reports with RDCs offices for purposes of monitoring n accountability.