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By Mulengera Reporter  

Busoga Kingdom and World Vision Uganda have signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at ending violence in communities and child marriages in the region.

The two parties inked the MoU on June 27 at the Kingdom Headquarters in Bugembe in Jinja. World Vision is currently operational only in the Kingdom districts of Mayuge and Bugiri Districts.

Kingdom Premier Dr Joseph Muvawala noted that the coming on board of World Vision will go a long way in addressing the plight of the marginalized members of society.

“As a Kingdom, we are home to all people within our geographical area. However, the issue of sexual and gender based violence is on the supersonic rise in the area thereby threatening efforts by the Kingdom led by the Kyabazinga to keep all girls in school,” Premier Muvawala said before challenging the top managers of the organization to establish other offices in Namayingo, Buyende, Luuka districts that also have high cases of violence and child marriages.

“We all need to cherish and promote our cultural heritage in whatever that we do. To us as a cultural institution, we are committed to supporting you whenever need arises. However, as partners in development, we need to be visible at all levels. It is, therefore, high time that you established several offices in the hard-to-reach districts with many victims.”

At the same signing ceremony, the Premier also launched the five-year Strategic Plan for Ekigangu kya Busoga that for the period 2020/2021-2024/2025.

Relatedly, the Team Leader Ekigangu kya Busoga, also State Minister for Gender, Women and Children Affairs, Dr Joyce Abaliwano Mulebeke, gave a chronology of events culminating into both the signing of the MoU and eventual launch of the Strategic Plan highlighting the importance of using culture to end early marriages and keep girls in school.

World Vision Uganda Board Vice Chairperson George William Nyeko said that the partnership was timely.

“Partnering with cultural institutions like Busoga Kingdom to address harmful social norms and practices that violate the rights of children has been our top priority. There’s no doubt that when the protective aspects of child efforts are grounded in cultural practices in the community, the impact can be far reaching and highly transformative,” he noted. “The Covid19 crisis has unveiled the magnitude of violence, another silent pandemic that needs to be tackled in our communities.”

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. Currently, the organization is undertaking a five-year global campaign dubbed ‘It takes a World’ to end violence against children.

Also present at the joint events were Jason Evans (National Director World Vision), Irene Kagoya (Asosciate Director Advocacy), Edward Khaukha (Eastern Regional Program Area Manager), Diana Tibesigwa (Policy and Campaign’s Officer),Mathew Kok (Chief Finance Officer Bidco Uganda Ltd), Plan International’s Carol, Owek George William Mutyabule (Speaker Busoga Lukiiko),Owek Florence Biruma (Deputy Speaker Busoga Lukiiko),Prince Ayub Banamwita (Hereditary Chief Butembe).Others were Ekigangu Team members that included Peter Mwanja, Sarah Awebwa, and Andrew Tenywa among others.

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