On 7th February 2016, the Second Vice President of Lions Club International; Lion Gudrun Bjort Yngvadottir paid a courtesy call to the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University. This was during her three days trip that aimed at meeting and fellowshipping with the Lions Fraternity in Uganda.
In accompaniment of her spouse Dr. Jon Bjarni Thorsteinsson and other Lion delegates, Lion Gudrun Bjort Yngvadottir was welcomed to the Ivory Tower by the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe who represented the Vice Chancellor Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu.
During the insightful meeting attended by some members of Makerere University, Gudrun Bjort Yngvadottir shared ideas on how Makerere University and Lions Club International can partner to promote basic education in Uganda. According to her, Makerere University and Lions Club International have similar interests in helping students to attain basic academic and valuable life skills. She therefore called upon the two institutions to make a workable relationship to build a transformative career of young Ugandans.
“Makerere University is one of the best institutions of higher learning in Uganda. It has embarked on providing better quality education with the aim of promoting and bettering the lives of Ugandans. As well, Lions Club International is spotting all the opportunities that can help to provide education to children at local level. This means that if we come together and have a relationship with a focused aim, we can be part of the team that will improve the education system of this country. We can corporate with Makerere University and see that a Ugandan child attains the basic education he needs,” she said.
Lion Gudrun Bjort Yngvadottir was happy to visit Makerere University, a remarkable and renowned university around the world to have mentored and nurtured many prominent people in Africa. “I am happy to be here and I am hoping for a close relationship between the university and the club to tap into the available opportunity that can change the lives of Ugandans,” she happily remarked.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe commended the constructive ideas shared by the Vice President and pledged to fully engage the University Management on how the institution can better collaborate with the Club. Prof. Nawangwe acknowledged the tremendous work done by Lions club International in developing the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the Ugandan community through its financial and moral support.
“We thank Lions Club International and Lion Clubs of Uganda and its partners for the wonderful job done in pulling our country out of poverty. On behalf of Makerere University I welcome Lion Gudrun Bjort Yngvadottir, the 2nd Vice President of Lions Club International and her spouse Dr Jon Bjarni Thorsteinsson to the legendary Makerere University. I believe that your visit will open stronger collaborations between Makerere University and Lions Club International,” he said.
He applauded the Club’s spirit of giving back to the community that has enabled to improve Uganda’s health and education sectors when he said, “I am aware that the Club constructed a nursery school in Masaka, an orphanage in Kasese and two dormitories for the disabled in Mbarara. The Club also built Rugarama Church of Uganda Eye Hospital in Kabale. It has also enabled Cataract surgeries in many parts of the country.”
The International Association of Lions Clubs (Lions Clubs International is the largest and most active voluntary organisation in the world. with a membership of over 1.4 million men and women in more than 46,000 clubs. In July 2017, the Association will be celebrating 100 years of existence.
Lions around the world are united by a spirit of giving and dedication to helping others. The Association is funded by Lions Club International Foundation through grants that are geared towards local and global humanitarian efforts.
In Uganda, Lions Club International together with its partners have improved peoples’ lives by investing in cubing down the looming vision problems that affect Uganda’s population. The Foundation has also responded to to major catastrophes, provided valuable life skills for youth and partnered with government ministries to fight preventable diseases through immunisations and other health interventions.
According to District Governor, 411B (Uganda & Tanzania), 2016-17, Mr. Venie Tinkumanya, about USD 345000 has been geared towards compressive Eye Care project which is about to start in the Acholi region. The Club has invested USD 3.5million towards elimination of River Blindness and USD 5 million towards elimination of Trachoma in Busoga and Karamoja regions.
“LCI has managed to build and equip five major eye departments in five Regional Referral Hospitals of Masaka, Mbale, Lira, Gulu, and Arua. Lions club International has also constructed ten primary schools in Busoga region, some bore holes and facilities for the disabled in many parts of the country,” he said.
After paying the courtesy call to the Vice chancellor, Vice President headed to Makerere University Lions Leisure Park, an activity project for the Lions Club of Kampala Central. Lion Gudrun Bjort Yngvadottir together with club members planted a tree as a sign of togetherness in maintaining environment and fighting against climate change.
She thanked the members for the tremendous work they are doing in keeping up with their mission that calls for empowering volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions Clubs. “I am glad that we have managed to influence many lives for the years we have existed as lions. Let us keep up with the spirit as we drive the world to a better place to live in,” she said.
According to Prof. Charles Ibingira, Principal of College of Health Sciences, the leisure park is an environment conservation project of Makerere University and Lions Club of Kampala Central that was initiated with the aim of protecting and conserving the environment.
“This is project signifies our togetherness in fighting against climate change. The place has been well maintained with good environment that enable students to rest or read their books from here. Prof. Ibingira thanked Assoc. Professor Lawrence Mugisha and his team for not only maintaining the leisure park but also building as strong foundation of Lions Club at Makerere University.
Born in Iceland, Gudrun Bjort Yngvadottir was elected the 2nd International Vice President of the Lions Club International at the Association’s 99th International Convection that was held in Fukuoka, Japan on 28th June 2016. She is the Vice Director of the Institute of continuing Education at University of Iceland. Gudrun Bjort Yngvadottir is the first highest ranking female international president of Lions Club International, she believes in woman emancipation and very passionate in uplifting the rights of women around the globe.
Mak- Public Relations Office.
Call For Nominations for the Position of Chancellor Makerere University
Makerere University invites nominations for the position of Chancellor of the University.
Purpose of the position
The Chancellor is the titular head of the University, presides over all ceremonial assemblies of the University and confers degrees and other academic titles and distinctions of the University.
Please see Download below for details.
The deadline for submission of nominations is 11th January 2024 at 5:00 p.m. East African Time.
Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda calls for full involvement of men and boys in achieving Gender Equality
The Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda Her Excellence Maria Håkansson has emphasized the need to fully engage men and boys in all the initiatives geared towards achieving Gender Equality in Uganda and other parts of the world. She said this on 28th November 2023 at a press conference organized by the Embassy of Sweden in close collaboration with Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, UN Women and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to unveil the National Orange Pledge campaign and officially launch the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
The press conference was headlined by a Ugandan rapper and record producer Daniel Lubwama Kigozi, popularly known by his stage name Navio and his fellow from Sweden Jason Michael Bosak Diakité popularly known as Timbuktu. Over 200 students both male and female from Makerere University and other institutions of higher learning attended the press conference at Makerere University Rugby Grounds.
According to Her Excellence Maria Håkansson, Gender Equality cannot be achieved without involving men and boys to take their responsibilities and be the drivers of change. “For real change to happen, we need to change attitudes and norms that might cause Gender Based Violence, one of the social ills in Uganda and an extreme of gender inequality that occurs at all levels of society,” she said.
Referring to the national survey conducted in 2020, the Ambassador was concerned about the escalating burden of gender based violence in Uganda when she said, “the Survey highlighted that 95% of women and girls experience physical or sexual violence since the age of 15.”
She therefore emphasized the Global 16 Days of Activism as key international movement to increase awareness and advocate for an end to Gender Based Violence. The Ambassador also mentioned that preventing and responding to Gender Based Violence is a cornerstone for Sweden’s commitment to promote democracy, human rights and gender equality and this is done as an investment in a society that upholds the principles of equality, dignity and justice.
She acknowledged the full participation of university students in all campaigns and activities geared towards achieving gender equality as well as ending Gender Based Violence when she said, “You are the leaders of tomorrow and you have an opportunity to build a future where everyone can thrive. So please use today to take an active stand against Gender Based Violence.”
Every year Uganda joins the rest of the world to enhance the global campaigns on 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and also add a voice to the call for an end to violence against women and girls. These campaigns run from 25th November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) until 10th December of the Human Rights Day.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 initiative calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts and share knowledge and innovations to help end all types of violence against women and girls. This year 2023, the UNiTE campaign theme is; Invest to Prevent Violence against Women & Girls.
Over the years, Makerere University through its Gender Mainstreaming Directorate and School of Women and Gender in partnership with UN Women and many other partners have been at the fore front to support the campaign on 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence in Uganda. This has been done through debates, theatre forums, student dialogues, thematic artistic presentations, media exposures, drama and music skits presentation, and student peer led discussions and quarterly competitions.
This year 2023, the University in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden, UN Women and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) unveiled the Orange Pledge. According to Eric Tumwesigye the Senior Gender Specialist at Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, this campaign calls upon government, policymakers, activists, civil societies, academicians, students and all members of community from all parts of the country to make their heartfelt pledges towards ending Gender Based Violence in Uganda and the rest of the world.
The UN Women Country Representative Paulina Chiwangu recognized the investment Makerere University, the Embassy of Sweden and UNFPA have made to end violence against women and girls. “Thanks to our collective efforts, the silence that used to shroud violence against women has now been broken” said.
In the same spirit, she acknowledged the progress Makerere University has made in establishing and implementation of the University’s Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment to protect students and staff from potential abuses of power and conflict of interest. She also applauded the increased support and training for students and the strengthened mechanisms for investigations that allow students and staff to anonymously report sexual misconduct.
“We are however, aware that despite this, sexual harassment is still happening in the university and that not many students report to the authorities when they experience it. It is therefore, our humble appeal to the university leadership to continue monitoring the implementation of the Policy and Regulations Against Sexual Harassment, take all allegations of sexual harassment and violence seriously, ensure that all personnel have information on available support services and take action to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable.”
Reaffirming the University’s position in fighting GBV and particularly sexual harassment, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe was highlighted the various measures Makerere University has put in place to prevent and respond to Gender Based Violence. To him, the Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment; the appointment and capacity building for the Vice Chancellor’s Roster of 100 eminent people from the various colleges and administrative units; recruitment and training of the Gender Mainstreaming Programme Student Peer Trainers and setting up Sexual Harassment Investigation Committees are bigger milestones to celebrate.
He appreciated the move by the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate and all the partners to embrace entertainment and artistry as a critical advocacy and awareness tool to reach several communities especially the youth.
“We firmly believe in the transformative power of music and the arts in promoting social change. Music and art does serve as a powerful medium to advocate for the world free from violence especially violence against women,” said to Mr. Dainel Alemu, the UNFPA Deputy Country Representative.
“It is heartening to see artists like Navio taking a stand and using their influence to challenge harmful norms. As we revel in the beats and melodies, let us not forget he underlying message that everyone , regardless of gender, has a role to play in fostering a world where everyone is free from shackles of gender based violence,” he added.
Speaking at the Press Conference at Makerere University Rugby Grounds, Navio said that for the 20 years he has been an activist of Gender Based Violence, he has faced the reality of many young girls and women in Uganda being victims of sex and physical abuse. He therefore sent a huge condemnation to men especially artists that who are perpetrators of Gender Based Violence and called for serious government action and clear policies and laws against such injustices.
Navio applauded the women and men who have stood tall over the years to fight against Gender Based Violence in Uganda when he said, “ As we launch the 16 days activism in Uganda and through these pledges we are making, let us be accountable for our actions. For long in our cultures, men have considered force and violence as power and protection. They have been tough to their children hence instilling fear to the extent that the children cannot freely interact with them on serious matters such as abuse and torture.”
He applauded all families that have adopted the new parenting model of free conversations and interaction hence encouraging children to freely open up whenever they have challenges. Navio also acknowledged the role of his mother Mrs Maggie Kigozi as a human rights activist and a champion in fighting against Gender Based Violence in Uganda.
Jason Michael Bosak Diakité popularly known as Timbuktu from Sweden appreciated the wider platform provided by the music industry globally for artists to act as role models and champion of change. The rapper highlighted the need to respect women for their roles and support towards community development.
“I am a son and it is extremely important for me to respect my mother and all women. Also being a father to a beautiful daughter, I am always eager and looking forward to seeing the best future for her. I want daught to grow up in the world where she is able to feel safe and be allowed to freely associate without being discriminated or threatened because of her gender,” he said.
Scholars & Alumni of Mastercard Foundation light up Achukudu Community, Napak District
By Bernard Buteera
On Saturday 2nd December 2023, all roads led to Achukudu Community Primary School in Napak District, Karamoja sub-region, as the Scholars and Alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University commemorated their Scholars’ Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback). The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service was held at Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District in the Karamoja sub-region. Established in 2013, Achukudu Community School serves two ethnic communities—The Iteso and Karamojong.
With a total population of 1,097 pupils only three government-paid teachers, and nine community-paid teachers, the School faces a plethora of challenges. Key among the challenges is the lack of Classrooms, decent Ventilated Pit Latrines, and Desks. Therefore when the Scholars identified the School as one that deserved to be given a gift of a classroom block, it was a befitting choice!
The Scholars with support from the alumni, the Program Team, Members of the Steering Committee, and partners of the Scholars Program at Makerere University intervened by constructing a two-classroom block, which was supervised by one of the alumni who is an Engineer. Alongside the classroom block, the Scholars also provided 40 desks, helping the school meet UNEB Center eligibility criteria.
While presiding over the event, the area member of Parliament, Hon. John Bosco Ngoya, thanked the Scholars and alumni community at Makerere University for supporting the young pupils of Achukudu Primary School and the entire community by gifting them with a two-classroom block.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University for the Christmas gift of a classroom block to the young people and the entire community of Achukudu. This classroom block will go a long way in improving the learning environment of the young children of Achukudu primary school.” Hon. Ngoya pointed out.
Hon. Ngoya called upon other people to emulate the Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation in embracing the spirit of giving back to the vulnerable people in the community. On his part, he donated One Million Five hundred shillings (1,500,000/=) to help the School purchase more desks, and he had earlier contributed One million shillings (1,000,000/=) towards the construction of the classroom block.
The District Education Officer (DEO) for Napak District, Ms. Joyce Nakoya, praised the Scholars Community for embracing and practicing the spirit of giving back to other people at an early age.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation at Makerere for embracing the spirit of giving back to other people at such an early age. If all people gave back to the less privileged in our communities, we would have a better world for everyone.” Ms. Nakoya pointed out.
Ms. Nakoya further pointed out every child deserves to study in a decent environment, therefore it was a befitting cause for the Scholars to construct a classroom block for the young pupils of Achukudu community primary school, who were studying in open grass thatched classrooms.
The Program Manager of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, Ms. Jolly Okumu who led the team of Scholars, alumni, and staff to Karamoja thanked the community of Achukudu for supporting the Scholars to deliver the class block by contributing to the construction sand.
“We come here today to join with you as a community driven by a shared commitment to education, empowerment, and ethos of giving back. Today is a historic occasion as we celebrate the completion and commissioning of the classroom block, which is a remarkable testament to the transformative power of education and our unwavering spirit of community service.” Ms. Jolly remarked.
The President of the Scholars Association, Mr. Godfrey Okello, thanked all the Scholars and alumni, and all stakeholders who contributed to the construction of the classroom block, which was a dream that became a reality.
“I would like to thank my colleagues and people of goodwill who supported us to realize our dream of constructing this classroom for our young brothers and sisters of Achukudu Primary School. Together we can make a difference in the lives of our fellow young people in Uganda and Africa as a whole.” Mr. Okello remarked.
The Headteacher of the School, Mr. Eryebu Raymond, who was visibly very excited was full of praises for Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation, for what he termed as an iconic classroom block they had gifted to his School.
“This day is very special to us, we will not see this day again. We are delighted to receive the Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation from Makerere University, thank you for considering supporting our School” Mr. Eryebu excitedly remarked.
The Headteacher revealed that one of the major challenges the school was facing was an acute shortage of classrooms for his 1,097 pupils. He was therefore grateful to Mastercard Foundation Scholars for choosing to construct a two-class block for the School.
“This donation of a classroom block and Desks is a testament to your commitment to education and empowering the lives of the vulnerable people in the community. This classroom block and desks will go a long way in improving the quality of teaching and learning at our school.” Mr. Eryebu further remarked.
The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback) was punctuated with a lot of joy, pomp, and fanfare, as the pupils and the entire community of Achukudu danced and ululated at the commissioning of the classroom block. The construction of the classroom block and purchase of desks for Achukudu Community Primary School was made possible by generous contributions by the Scholars, alumni, the Program Team, and members of the Steering Committee.
Among the Partners who made financial contributions towards the class block construction included; DFCU Bank, Post Bank, URA, Katumba Estates, Footsteps Furniture Ltd, and Sion Travels Ltd.
The Scholars and Alumni Day of Community Service (Give back) is an annual event, where Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation go out into the community to give back by providing solutions to challenges that a particular community is facing. Over the years Scholars have given back to the communities in numerous ways that range from offering professional services and erecting major projects like classroom blocks.
Bernard Buteera is the Communications and Public Relations Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.
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