Makerere University Academician and Ugandan human rights activist Prof. Sylvia Tamale has called upon Ugandans to embrace the values of Ubuntu in order to end Gender Based Violence and sexual harassment among communities.
“Growing up, my mother used to drum it into us to have obuntu bulamu… I want to therefore appeal to those values of humaneness, solidarity, interdependence, compassion, respect and dignity associated with Ubuntu. I want to appeal to your human goodness and sense of justice. I want to implore you to reject hierarchy and dominion based on gender, race, ethnicity, disability, age and so on,” she said
In a keynote address entitled Ubuntu: ending Gender based violence in institutions of higher learning and work places, Prof. Syliva Tamale, one of the leading African feminist lawyers and scholars in Africa said that there is need to instigate a spirit of togetherness and cooperation in communities in order to have free gender based societies.
The dialogue held on 30th November 2018 was one of the activities organised by the Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate in partnership with Communication for Development Foundation Uganda (CDFU); with financial support from UN Women during the international campaign of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Other activities included; an exhibition that ran from 29th – 30th November 2018, in the Makerere University Freedom Square, a session for students on Gender Based Violence conducted by Medical Doctors, Lawyers, and counsellors and signing up as HeForShe champions.
According to Prof. Tamale, Ubuntu is humaneness. it reflects the African understanding of diversity, solidarity, compassion, respect, dignity and the belief in a universal bond and sharing. She said that African traditional culture was not attuned to individual competition but to cooperating within community. The interests of the community were always placed above of those of the individual.
Reflecting on the theme of the day: Gender Based Violence prevention and responses, Prof. Tamale said that Gender Based violence is grounded in the hierarchy or social order that supports men’s dominance and superiority over women. It is based on a system of power called patriarchy and is driven by sexiest prejudices.
She mentioned that while men can and certainly do experience violence, the greatest majority of victims and survivors of gender based violence are women and girls.
“In other words our mothers, sisters, daughters, nieces, aunts and grandmothers are more likely to experience gender based violence in their lifetimes than will our fathers, brothers, sons, nephews, uncles, and grandfathers,” she stated.
She urged societies to adopt the values of Ubuntu to protect the weakest and most vulnerable person from undue arm.
Prof. Sylvia Tamale also proposed 10 key points on how to end gender based violence and these included;
- We all need to raise our consciousness and awareness to the different systems of intolerance of fellow human beings.
- We all need to educate ourselves on the root structural causes of gender based violence in order to nip the bud.
- Men, you need to rid yourselves of the false sense of superiority and entitlement over women.
- Women, we need to rid ourselves of the false sense of inferiority and deprivation.
- All of us need to stop objectifying women’s bodies.
- Women, we need to empower ourselves by speaking out and participating in decision making.
- Men, you need to empower yourselves by engaging with social justice and gender equity.
- Women, we need to liberate our minds from patriarchal thoughts that always put men first.
- We all need to tap into our essential goodness as human beings and treat others as we would have them treat us.
- We all need to return our African Spirituality of Ubuntu.
The program Specialist of UN Women-Uganda Ms. Susan Oregede acknowledged the tremendous role played by the young men to ensure that institutions of learning such as Makerere University are safe for women. She applauded Makerere University leadership for the bold action to fight against sexual harassment and called upon young women and men to participate and support the HeforShe campaign movement and the implementation of the sexual harassment policies in their respective institutions.
Representing the Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza said that Makerere University has demonstrated strong commitment to end Gender Based Violence and its related practices.
“We have put in place a well-established Gender and Mainstreaming Directorate to mainstream gender in the University functions and propel the struggle for gender justice at Makerere University and beyond. Through the School of Women and Gender Studies, we have been able to address gender and development issues from an African perspective” he explained.
The Director of Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine emphasised Makerere University’s zero tolerance to sexual harassment.
Mr. Oketcho Emanuel and Mr. Ocheng Ocheng, students from Makerere University and Kyambogo University respectively appealed to their fellow students to stand firm and fight against sexual harassment and gender based violence at universities.
“The actions start with us. While elders are talking and professors are writing books, let the youth and students act. That way we shall curb Gender Based Violence at Institutions of learning and workplaces,” said Mr. Ocheng.
Article by Mak Public Relations Office
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 1,907 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.
Innovations using low cost locally available materials for point of use water treatment system unveiled
The College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) conducted a Research Dissemination of two studies aimed at the Development of Materials for point of use water treatment systems.
The investigations were conducted by a team of researchers comprised of P. W. Olupot, H. M. Kalibbala, E. Menya, G.M. Wangi, J. Jjagwe, J. Wakatuntu, M. Turyasingura, R. Walozi, C. Kanyesigye and R. N. Kulabako.
The dissemination event held on Wednesday 29th November 2023 follows the successful completion of two MakRIF supported Research projects namely; Development of rice husk based granular activated carbon for point-of-use water treatment systems and Development of zeolite-based nanocomposite filters for drinking water treatment.
Apac District gains from CEDAT’s Research on Piloting a Rural Broadband Connectivity Model and Efficacious patient management system
The School of Engineering at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) shared findings of research that was conducted in Apac Districts through two projects namely Piloting a Rural Broadband Connectivity Model (RCBM) and Efficacious patient management system (EPMS).
The findings of the research sponsored by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University research and Innovation Fund(MakRIF) were disseminated during a dissemination seminar held in the College on Friday 24th November 2023, where it was revealed that Apac the host District greatly benefited from the services that not only led to the increased uptake of internet services but also gained through other socio economic areas.
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