– Jun 07, 2012
It started with a story of a man and a woman happily married and expecting their first child. The group of men and women listened attentively as they sat in the shade under the beautiful large tree in the center of the sandy lot. There were men, women and children who listened intently as Joseph, War Child’s community and outreach coordinator, spoke freely of the once happy relationship that slowly deteriorated and became abusive.
At the end of the story he asked, “What is the cause of this violence?” I have attended and facilitated enough awareness talks to know how this conversation would likely play out; there would be a few answers and awkward silences and then the conversation would wrap up, hoping the message had at least touched a few who attended. But I was wrong.
Something incredible happened. Right away, discussion began. Men, women, elders and young people all began to unravel this complicated question with their opinions and thoughts.
And requests for support came flooding in: “They need to see the law!” “They need police and local community councilors to have printed copies of the law so that this important information is available when it is needed.”
The Domestic Violence Act was recently enacted. But in districts across the country, many still do not know their rights. Some of the myths War Child outreach coordinators are trying to dispel include things like, "If he doesn't beat me, it means he doesn't love me".
What community sensitization brings to communities is vitally important. Knowledge around human rights is provided, laws are explained and the process on how to access protective services is shared. For vulnerable women and children, this information can mean the difference between a life of violence and abuse and a life of peace and love.
We ended the session and women, men and children proudly held up the illustrated posters and brochures that outline common occurrences of abuse and how to protect themselves against them.
I was amazed at the engagement and desire from so many to address this issue, which we know is destroying families and harming children across the country.
Joseph will return to the office and prepare for the next sensitization. There will be more bumpy car rides, he will work with community councilors to find out when is a good time to host a session, he will mine over newly collected data from numerous visits to the community to determine what knowledge is needed most and how to best go about disseminating it, and he will bring new communities together to discuss, share and listen to heart wrenching stories that speak to why these community sensitization sessions are needed.
But long after Joseph returns to the office to start the long process of organizing another session, the people he spoke to today will share their newly acquired knowledge with their children, families and friends. Little by little it will spread and fewer women and children will be victimized.
I was born in Sierra Leone and now live in Edmonton AB, Canada. I just want to say thank you so much for such an amazing story. This stroy brought tears to my eyes, knowing that MY people are still suffering but yet have a positive attitude towards life. Thank for this wonderful story :)
I am impressed. If all this is happening in real world and real life and time, in Uganda, then we are by all accounts, on our way to seriously addressing some of the most critical issues bedeviling sub-regions of Northern Uganda, which was devastated by more than a decade of war and civil strive, leaving many in human need and want.
Continued community education and essential skills training,supported by legal advocacy and action, is an important step forward, towards eradicating such evil in society, in hopes of empowering rural communities, for a more tolerant, cohesive, inclusive, democratic, peaceful, just and fair society.
Such is a surmountable task for one group to accomplice, on their own. Every effort War Child is making in that direction, should be supported by all those who care for the communities living in the sub-regions of Northern Uganda.They should pitch in. whatever support they can garner. So, what sort of sacrifices are you willing to make, to successfully accomplice this noble task? To improve conditions of living and change people's lives for the better! What action can you take now?
Wow, that really sucks. Poor Charles, it must be hard to here that your sister got raped. Luckely he had the training he needed.
Everyday we get closer to a solution!
This is a wonderful initiative, many thanks to those who have done the work to bring this day about!
Well music has always been a relaxing and enjoyable medium to relax in this phase of life. It is the only way by which people of different qualification come together to make something that targets the amusement of the public. So here is the example of something happening for everyone.
Sound Recording Studio
People who live luxuriously at rich counties do not care about the environment or generation of waste. Eventhough the awareness programs are conducted, they wouldn't follow the rules properly. But people in the undeveloped countries use less amount of energy and recycle as much as possible. Due to inadequate facilities, people follow the simple way of life and they save lot of natural resources. Small things can achieve big targets.
Perhaps the time has arrived for more peace talk and less war talk
When will the auction begin on August 8th? What is the link to it?