STAKEHOLDERS IN KARAMOJA PLEDGE FULL SUPPORT TO UYAHF AS THEY IMPLEMENT THE “LEAVE YOUR DREAM PROJECT
As part of the preparation to kick start the Live your dream project in Karamoja sub-region, a team from Uganda Youth and Adolescent Health Forum held several courtesy visits to Kabong, Kotido, and Abim districts of Northern Karamoja from 14th to 17th March 2022
The visits were meant for UYHAF to familiarise itself with the district and community structures so as to pave way for the Live Your Dream project and specifically the youth camp.
While in the districts, the UYHAF team, consisting of Mrs. Alemura Brenda, the senior programs and advocacy lead; Mr. Haruna Musa, the communication and innovation officer; and Ms. Osundwa Christine, Karamoja Project coordinator, supported by Brac field officers, met with various stakeholders in the separate districts.
Among the key people met were the Chief administrative officers, probation officers, community development officers, biostatisticians, religious leaders, youth groups, and youth champions among others.
During the meetings, Brenda Alemura gave a brief about UYHAF, and its mandates, and introduced the Live Your Dream project and the partners it is working with.
“I am excited to be here and introduce you to UYAHF. This visit is just for us to get familiar with each other, interact, and share contacts for future collaboration because, in the near future, we intend to work with you. So far, we are working with Moroto, but with the support of our partners Brac Uganda and UNFPA, we intend to expand to other districts. ” Explained Brenda.
Brenda called for support from the various stakeholders, noting that UYAHF is willing to closely work within the district structures to create a positive impact in the communities, especially on advancing the sexual reproductive health rights of young people and promoting gender equality, mindset change, and climate adaptation mitigation.
Mr. Kubal Michael, the Kabong district probation officer, said that the coming of UYHAF as a youth-led organization onboard will be a strong addition to the efforts toward improving the well-being of young people in Karamoja.
“I already see this as a plus, having an organization that has expertise in dealing with young people. In Kabong and Karamoja, we have issues of raids and insecurity. It is perpetrated by young people who are not aware of their positive roles in the community. We have high rates of SGVB, child marriages, and teenage pregnancies because parents don’t see value in schools but rather value dowery hence teenage marriages and the young girls themselves are not aware of their rights, “Kubal added.
He says that many development partners have continued to work towards solving such challenges, but new and innovative approaches are still needed to effectively solve such persistent challenges.
The Kotido district Principal Chief Administrative Officer, Ms. Sarah Narem, said that the district is open and welcoming to development partners who want to bring positive change to the people of Karamoja.
While the Abim district Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Moses Echat, noted that Abim is one of the remote districts in Karamoja that needs a lot of interventions in relation to sexual reproductive health and changing the restrictive cultural norms.
“Our doors are open. Please come and work because the SRHR challenges and other related issues we have in the district need a lot of interventions; high rates of teenage pregnancy, child marriages, sexual gender-based violence, you name it. We need more partners on board to support the already present ones, “Echat revealed.
Among the other key people the team met during the visit included the headteacher of Kotido secondary school, Mr. Wubo Robert Ssibuta Joshua, the chief priest of Losilang parish (Kotido), Fr. Lokiding Joseph, and the Karamoja regional Khadhi Sheikh Aramazan Auni.