HOLDING RADIO TALK SHOWS TO CREATE AWARENESS ON VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN IN THE RWENZORI SUB REGION

On 5th and 9th May, 2017 Forum for African Women Educationalists Uganda Chapter (FAWEU) through the Violence against Children in and around School Project (VACiS) held radio talk shows at both Development FM in Bundibugyo and Radio Guide in Kasese District. The radio talk shows aimed at discussing the situation of violence against children in and around schools, different forms of violence and what needs to be done to address the heart wrenching prevailing statistics in the Rwenzori region and Uganda as a whole. The talk shows also aimed at creating awareness in the region on the rights of children and the role of duty bearers in ensuring that these rights are observed and their mandate in guaranteeing safety for the children especially the girl child.

It also featured equipping the leaders and the local populace with the existing laws and legal regimes governing protection of children and popularizing the Ministry of Education and Sports Reporting, Tracking, Responding and Referral (RTRR) guidelines on Violence against Children in and around Schools (VACiS.)

Mr. George Mayinja, the Kasese District Education Officer said that, “As we continue to supervise teachers and monitor their performance; the few cases that are reported have been handled extremely well with offenders facing the full wrath of the law. As a result, teachers have improved on this with no cases heard off on imprisonment of any teacher now because of corporal punishment.” He appreciated FAWE Uganda for taking lead in building the capacity of teachers and leaders as they help cascade information to lower levels and act as role models/change agents to others.

Mr. Kitanywa Sowedi, the Kasese District Probation Officer responded to the question on Reporting, Tracking, Responding and Referral (RTRR) guidelines. He emphasized that, “We shall continue working together as one and report all cases of violence against children to the appropriate authorities including the Uganda Police Force and other structures in the community.” He also urged community members to seek support from the appropriate authorities whenever they need assistance or incase of any offence is reported.

Mr. Bamwitirebye Peter, the Bundibugyo District Education Officer (DEO) expressed that, “The number of cases reported on Violence against Children in and around schools have tremendously reduced in the community because of the awareness and sensitization campaigns that are being implemented both at school and the communities.” He warned teachers against violating children’s rights in schools “The education department in the district has frequently sent letters to schools reminding them of their professional code of conduct.” The DEO also warned parents to desist from quietly receiving dowry from the culprits impregnating underage girls. The District leaders from both Kasese and Bundibugyo acknowledged FAWEU’s contribution towards positive change both in schools and communities. They appreciated the opportunities and platforms such as the radio talkshows that bring stakeholders together to discuss pertinent issues affecting children in the community.

They implored FAWE Uganda to continue working to attain quality education for the girl child. Both talk shows were attended by District officials from the two districts of Kasese and Bundibugyo including; the District Education Officer, Probation Officer and Religious and cultural leaders.

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