Sunday, February 15, 2009

Northern Uganda Women and Children Initiatives

Last week I visited yet another very interesting organization here in Kampala.It has a coordination office in Kampala, but most of its activities are in Kitgum. I met Beatrice Aciro at her small office in Kitintale after she emailed me and I contacted her through the phone.Beatrice is the Director of Northern Uganda Women and Children Initiative(NUWECHI)

Beatrice at her Office in kampala

Here in Kampala they have Women of Kireka as one of their activities for income generating. These women are involved in crafts and are planning to start a tailoring workshop as you can see .This will help them create jobs for themselves and thus help them with the many orphans that they are looking after, and also the girls who did not have the opportunity of attending formal education who then will have the chance to get trained and therefore reducing the rate of immorality that has developed here because of no proper education leading to lack of proper employment and most of these young people get involved in very early relationships due to being idle.A campaign has been put up for this project here;

Meanwhile in kitgum they really have a lot of good things happening, though I am yet to visit this Kitgum program. But according to the reports that I have seen, there is a lot that has taken place there already. They have been sensitizing people in many parts of the district on HIV/AIDS and they alsohave a few income generating activities, Like chicken rearing and piggery. They have given out mosquito nets to the most vulnerable children in the district. More about them can be found here:

I am planning to visit their project in Kitgum next week and will come back with more informations and pictures about them then.meanwhile you can join them in their campaign at the above address.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rock of Ages center for Hope

Rock of Ages is runned by Lucy Lamunu , for now at her house on Kireka Hill where I visited . A young lady in her early thirties , Lucy is really so caring and kind. She does not have children of her own , but you would think the children around her are really her very own.they keep cuddling her and calling her mummy all the time.

I met Lucy way back in 2007 first on line at Razoo and made friends there and when we were trying to look for an Accountant for the organization, she was one of the applicants. Then we physically met on the interview day where she was the one who was selected. She never took up the job due to some other obligations. But we never lost contact. She even visited me physically at home.

All this time she was working on her project of a children's center (village).She began with about five children living in her house , she sends them to school using her personal funds and now she has registered and has about eight children whom she is thinking of relocating to a permanent place ,possibly in the North with ample space for building a dormitory , possibly a nursery for the younger ones, and somewhere where she can grow some food for the children so that the food problem is partially solved and bringing in more children possibly 20 which is her target for now. Lucy is really so loving to her children.

Lucy joined the children at a school day

Looking at how she has handled this project with very little assistance apart from those that she gets from founder members, she has done a lot and I am sure she can get further if she resettles in a more spacious area where she can grow their own food.Children lovers like me have a chance of giving a hand here because it's really doing a lot for these children who would have otherwise been maybe street kids. I know many more children can benefit from this if we all join hands for it's expansion.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pikitup( Pito Kic Tek)

I have talked a lot before about our transitions and the offsprings that came out of the communities that we had before. In Kamapla the CBO reorganized as LIA Kireka who have been doing a lot in restructuring themselves and writing new plans for the year 2009, you can see what plans they have here.

The main group that am talking about here is our offspring in Gulu called the Pito kic Tek . An Acholi word meaning "It's really hard to bring up orphans".The last time I visited them, the group in Gulu were trying to get back on track after all the disorganization we had in the middle of last year, that caused the closure of the office we had been helping to rent for them. They were in the process of getting a new operational office at that time they were still working from Lucy's place. Lucy is the secretary to the organization. I had verified them , but could not write anything about them because they had nowhere they were working from, but this week I got a call from them that they already have an office and work had began seriously on planning for the future. I feel I need to give them some attention given their previous relationship with us. I will visit them next week to confirm everything.

Lucy and one of the members at her home

I had also said before that I picked their papers last time I visited them and was reading through and so far from what I read, they are still in line with what we are trying to do and their plans if implemented well, will help them bring change to these many orphans whom they are looking after. They hope to develop small Income Generating Activities to help them with fees for the children, they would also like to reactivate the children programs that was very popular and was helping rehabilitate these traumatized children, they too will continue producing crafts to help them get self-sustained , they hope is that they will get markets for these items that they will be producing.In a bid to try and get these things known, they are putting up a gallery at the office area.All these sound great!

They have asked David who was one of the children program assistant to help them administer their activities since most of them do not know how to read and write and David is a teacher by profession am sure he will be of great help to them. For now he will be working on voluntary basis until they find ways of paying him a salary.I also had time with him at Lucy's place, and he sounds very willing to help these ladies. he will be the one doing all the reporting from that end.

David sitting near Lucy's hut

I am very hopeful that with the fewer and determined members ,things will work out better for them this time .We shall be very grateful to get advices and any form of assistance from all our supporters, to help them move forward.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Child Aid Uganda

Last week I visited Lyantonde , about 200 kms away from Kampala on Mbarara road.I traveled in a Mbarara bound bus.I had initially underestimated the journey.I thought it was just some few miles after Masaka, but the journey turned out to be a very long one.After Masaka, I kept peeping through the window for fear of passing my destination, since It was my second time traveling along that road and was hard to locate places on the way.I got a bit uncertain and had to talk to the driver because I was sitting right behind him and he told me we were still very far away , and now that he had known that I was getting out at Lyantonde,he was just going to stop when we were there. as i said before , with my underestimation, I thought it was something like two hours ,but it ended up being 4 hours.

I reached the town at around 4pm and was picked up by Lauben , the project coordinator on his motor was just some three minutes from the town center.The place was well organized and from my look, they might have prepared to receive me , because I had communicated a day or two before that I would be visiting.There was the Chaiperson, the coordinator , the accountant and one other staff, and I was told a few other staffs were in the field.

Lauben gave a very long detailed presentation of what they were doing and which areas at the end , a copy was given to me to come back with. Looking at the setup and the organizational approach , I got convinced at once that they truly were working so hard and have done a lot already.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Back in December , for the second time in my life, I visited Kabale the home to Amasiko one of our network team.The first time I went Southwards was when I was still very young . It was sports that took me ,we travelled at night and so we did not have the time to move so much, this denied me the opportunity to see the beauty of this area.My God there are places that God has really been so artistic.The landscape is just breath taking!

The beautiful landscape

We went in Christina's car and left very early to catch up with the people who were going to the site of the meeting which is about 30 km away from the town at the shores of lake Bunyonyi, said to be the deepest lake in Africa. We left Kampala at around 5.30 am and reached at around 1.30 pm at Kabale town and left for Hamukaaka village ( our destination) at around 4 pm. We spent some time pitching our tents are generally settling down.
That evening , Wilfried and the 4 facilitators went around the village reminding people of the next morning's meeting which was scheduled to beginn at 8 am. While Christina and I remained behind chating.

The following morning ,it took a little while for the meeting to begin, it does not seem very suprising according to African standard time. The meeting started at around 10 am . It all looked very unique the atmosphere was very calm with the lake breeze all around the place.

The youth group

Though there seemed to be a few people at the beginning, when the drum was sounded, many responded and in a few minutes the place was really full.

It was the Appreciacive Inquiry, quite a new term to me and many others.They all got into different groups , the youths, the women and men. All were discussing the good things that has happened to them or rather what they appreciate in themselves and how they can use it to make things better.This unique way of handling things gave them the opportunty to discover what they can do by themselves and drove them away from the traditional way of thinking that they should always be expecting something from somewhere I truly feel that this is very much in line with what we are trying to help people's a good idea to lead people into thinking that there are resources just besides them and with proper planning can be utilized to bring developement,without donations from abroad.

At the major meeting place

At the end of it all, a lot was decided . A school was to be built, a chicken house to be erected,the growing of potatoes to be started and the roads done. And from the report that I got from them later, a school will open in one of the churces and they will use materials that can be locally found to begin erecting the chicken house. This is a lot of accomplishement. I know that with a little help here and there, these people will be able to do a lot towards their developement.They just need a bit of support to help them get onto their feet.More about what has taken place at Hamukaaka village meeting can be found here as reported by Wilfried , the man behind all these :

I will get back with photos later, the network here is not so good and I cant upload anything.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bye- bye 2008

It all went very fast and now it's 2009. For me it was all a jumble of things , I had initially planned to travel to the village for Xmas, but was not feeling very well that week.The week before that , I had visited Amasiko people in kabale and had some great fun there. I had Xmas in Kampala with part of the family while some of the elder children where already in the village.This time while I was resting, I also took sometime doing paper beads with the big girls who have made it part of what they do when they are at home for holidays.

I then travelled to Kitgum for New years day. It was fun though I still wasn't feeling very well. I visited a few relatives who are still living in the camps , some 20 kms away from town towards the Sudan border, it was abit quiet this time though in early December everybody thought that the rebels were trecking their way towards Acholiland again after failing to sign the Peace Agreement in the DRC. We really all dread that day when they will enter into Uganda again.

Well it's time for work again, new year with new beginnings. We shall very soon begin our very new program for the We Network members who will have been visited and verified.So keep watching out for details here and on our discussion board on ned here: and also at our transformed website: where we shall from time to time be updating what's new on this particular program.
Till then, Prosperous 2009 to all!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Totally Different Initiative

Canon Dwe Girls School

It has taken me a bit of time to think of what to write first of the many organizations that I have been visiting. But I have discovered that I needed to sort out in terms of the innovative ideas that each one of them have.

This time in Gulu still, I met a group of people who are setting up a community girls school, this I felt was really very good for the community. The rate of girls education in the north has really been very low and traditionally anyway Acholi girls were not supposed to go to school, so the war was just a catalyst to this idea. So many have been sent off to rich relatives in towns and the city as maids or baby sitters for that matter and had no chance at all to go to school, because they sometimes take them from even as early as seven years . So when I see people coming up with such ideas, I feel that they really need our support in any way possible.

The idea of this school is to help promote quality girl child education in the north and the surrounding districts , since it will be a boarding school. It's supposed of be one of the top private schools in the district with very well selected teaching staff and serving children from very poor backgrounds who are not able to go to good schools because they cannot afford it and a few able ones who would pay some fee to help sustain the project. I will have to work more closely with these group of people to learn more about the program. I have had a long talk with the director Mr. Opira -Otto and the secretary Mrs. Gladys Oyat who is a headmistress at a government aided school in Kitgum and they really have great plans. They are in the process of purchasing land right now, close to Koro camp for the school premises.

I felt that this kind of project is long overdue and if put into practice will really help the north as a way of resettling them into normal life again since they are trying to go back home now from the camps, and more especially a good beginning for the girls in Acholiland. I would love to see that these people see their dreams come true through our collective efforts.

Note: Canon Dwe was one of the famous Anglican Church leaders from Kitgum. He is remembered for his great contribution towards the Church development.