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Blog by kawempe youth documenter Sendegeya Jonathan

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The IOM project on Strengthening Social Cohesion and Stablisation in Slum Population (SSCSSP), funded by the European Union (EU), aims to address the root cause of intercommunal conflict in slum population by addressing sources of grievances and by strengthening community cohesion around shared development assets. The project, more specifically will provide employment opportunities and basic local services as well as preventing conflict in marginalized communities in urban slums of Uganda.

The pilot project was established in Kawempe region, specifically Bwaise iii in which 50 youths are to benefit from the business financial support and the 60 people from the cooperative yet to be registered. Unlike other projects this has specifically come to support the youth on the individual basis not the youth groups

Youths to benefit are those living in Bwaise iii and have already started a business but need financial support in terms of the equipment and tools. This is to help the youth increase their income and the standards of living as well as boosting their productivity. 

In a desire to make the project participatory, engagement of the leaders at different levels was crucial. It all started with the meeting with the town clerk of Kawempe division and the ward administrator of bwaise iii in the town clerk’s office Friday morning 07/07/2017. In this meeting of an hour, “this project is to enhance youth business in this community by providing financial support and business sensitisation…” Mr. Kakaire introduced the project and supplemented by others, “it is in our tradition of always seeking blessings from the elders, so we are here to have your blessing you being our elders not by age but the by authority…” NSDFU chairperson supplemented. The project was highly welcomed by the city authority and they gave advises on how they think it can be conducted, “make sure you don’t give money to the youth who have got youth fund for there are still many youth in our community who are not reached yet…” the town clerk advised and they promised technical support in all aspects to make this project succeed. In the evening also other local leaders like Local Council chairpersons at different levels, area councilors and many others were engaged in discussion about the project at Kalimali sanitation project and they also promised their total support

This opened the project to authorities and avoided future barriers which could have risen with hidden agendas. The welcoming of the project by the local leaders and the city authority was a great achievement for the project and this enables smooth Mobilisation, monitoring and evaluation of the project and it good start for transparency

 Meetings  in photos

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Blog by Ssendegeya Jonathan-Kawempe region documenter 

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With no doubt people in the same locality tend to have similar challenges, this always call for the need for such people to meet. It was 28/04/2017 when the leaders plus their youths of different saving groups in bwaise network kawempe region under the umbrella of National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda (NSDFU) met at kalimali sanitation community hall to discuss some issues as per their savings groups and solutions to their challenge as people of the same locality

“We are the problem and we are the solution,” as one of the slogan used by the slum dwellers in the federation, many issues were raised by desperate chairpersons as they claim to have missed such meetings for the long time, they were of help as many got strengthened and advised by fellow chairpersons which is not the case these days. Challenges were also raised like lack of enough financial support, difficulty in sitting the meetings at the group level and others as possible solutions are also suggested among themselves.

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Hope was revived again among them as they got words of encouragement from the chairperson of kawempe region national slum dwellers federation of Uganda Mr. Rhonald kasaalu and he introduced a new project in the pipe line targeting the youth funded by IMO which was proudly and cheerfully welcomed.

Many issues were discussed but there showed a need to revive meetings at all levels especially at the group and network level plus regional council meetings, this creates positive competition among the groups as they all aim at the best. Something must be done on the ground to know what is needed, let it be facilitation or remobilization and monitoring to have the sleeping groups awakened 

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Blog by Sendegeya Jonathan

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Kalimali Bisoboka (meaning things are possible) savings group is one of the savings group with more than 30 members located at the kalimali sanitation project in kawempe region under the umbrella of national slum dwellers federation of Uganda, like any other saving group, it has been going through some challenges from the beginning among which includes leadership and many others this has affected the group membership and savings. But there was a change of the story on 4/5/2017 in the group meeting when everything was resolved for the group to restart afresh whereby the following was resolved

  • Change of the leadership
  • Auditing of the group savings to trace the missing money
  • Group meetings to sit on every Wednesday
  • To come up with the group project
  • Registration of the group as CBO

This was as a result of the effort by the region chairperson Mr. Kasaalu in his monitoring exercise after receiving the complaint from the die-hard group members as their group was led astray from the purpose as to why it was formed.

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This can act as a sample of many groups in the same saga not only in kawempe region but in all the municipalities where national slum dwellers federation of Uganda has its input but lacking a hand, this call attention to the concerned from the national level to the regional level to put on their boots and pull their stockings. Before there was a monitoring exercise done at region level to the groups facilitated by ACTogether, this made the exercise so easy as groups were visited and monitored by the concerned facilitators 

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According to Wikipedia; “Apublic spaceis asocial space that is generally open and accessible to people it is therefore a gathering spot or part of a neighborhood, downtown, special district, waterfront or other area within the public realm that helps promote social interaction and a sense of community. Possible examples may include such spaces as plazas, town squares, parks, marketplaces, public commons and malls, public greens, piers, special areas within convention centers or grounds, sites within public buildings, lobbies, concourses, or public spaces within private buildings.

Please follow the link to view the blog in adobe spark version; https://spark.adobe.com/page/mmwWhBfnhRV3O/

The training that involved staff, interns, federation / community members, KYC-TV crew and youth documenters took place on 7th December 2016. This was to orient them about the new software that makes blogging easier as well as allowing the use of captivating media content.  

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Shown in the photos above are the participants during the training.

The overall objective of the exercise was to orient participants with new skills and technological platforms that allow communicating with impact in order to give more visibility to the work we do. 

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The training was carried out by members of the documentation department through a learn by doing approach that allowed participants to fully grasp the knowledge and skills imparted. 

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Members of the documentation team conducting the training and other participants.

“The new approach has reduced the amount of time required to write blogs and adds a flare allowing you to adding media content of different types such videos, reports among others” said Joan Beatrice one of the trainers. 

As a result of such trainings, ACTogther Uganda with NSDFU have created more appealing content that is available online across various social media sites that document the work of the federation. This can be followed by the links below;

https://spark.adobe.com/page/FcaETNrQMrILA/

https://spark.adobe.com/page/RTxayhhHzp8PN/

https://spark.adobe.com/page/SNtcr1Kc6ZJi4/

https://t.co/dlSkxwpned

 

With the ever increasing population in the Urban centres, focus of all the urban actors should be triggered towards inclusive, resilent and sustainable cities.

 

Please follow the link to view the blog in Adobe Spark version; Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Forums have  ignited the self-help initiatives in communities by assisting communities in building constructive partnerships that enable participatory planning and promotion of accountability as citizens actively oversee public projects in their settlements. 

Please follow the link to view the blog in Adobe Spark Version; FORUMS: A DRIVE TO COMMUNITY CHANGE

The Lubaga exhibition organised by National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda and ACTogether Ugnada in Partnership with kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) brought together a number of saving groups and KCCA officials. 

 

Please follow the link to view the blog in adobe spark version: Lubaga Exhibition

 

Written by Documentation team;

10 years

With a vision towards “inclusive cities where the urban poor utilize opportunities to transform their communities”, ACTogether is the national support NGO for the National Slum Dwellers’ Federation of Uganda (NSDFU). The Organization was established in 2006, to facilitate processes that develop organizational capacity at the local level and promote pro-poor policy and practice in Uganda’s urban development arena. At the ten years journey, ACTogether together with NSDFU advances concerns of over 1949 savings group of slum dwellers in various municipalities across the country. ACTogether & NSDFU use savings not only to empower communities of the urban poor but also to mobilize them into organize them into small self-help groups that ably take care of their needs. At the mark of 10 years, average daily savings 1,459,764,000Shs through which loans are advanced to communities as well as establishing numerous projects in waste management, providing security of tenure bio-fil toilets skills development and hopes to expand interventions into affordable housing. 

Blog by Simon Kayiwa,makindye

I was born and raised in a slum where people yearn for breathing space due to crowded houses, children half clad in rags yet filth and stagnant water surrounds the place and we burn chrismass tree leaves to keep away mosquitoes at night and other pests. Where houses stands on ground like drunkard men but never falling and a saucepan solicitously waits from the stove for its contents on probability but will never be amply filled if parents manage to get any. It's not easy you know!.

 Am a youth and documentation-person in Makindye federation .Three years back I joined National Slum Dwellers Federation as a member in Twasakimu youth development group and picked interest in documentation later on as part of my individual contribution to the federation and the entire slum community which many ill describe as "the hopeless’’. My Hope being that through the Lens and a pen I will get to Change People's mindset about slums. You can talk with someone for years, everyday, and still, it won't mean as much as what you can have when you Sit to write and capture what communities are getting through and share with both national and the global audience online most importantly how slums are transforming every day physically and ideologically through both united and individual efforts or roles in various activities aimed to uplift society socially and economically

Except the passion for writing and willing to learn more. I had no single clue by then on the art of blogging despite having, had freshly graduated with a diploma in a journalism and mass communication course. For all that time surprisingly, neither a lecturer nor acoursemate let it be the writings in the full packed college library had ever pinched me on what nor how a blog or report looked like just like many young people in my village are. This was not until a heaven set opportunity hit my way and got spotted by region federation chairman Francis Ssebuguluse to attend a documentation training by ACTogether Uganda in 2014..There is the power in volunteering I should admit to students and that learning never ends when school stops or with in class walls but also Continues in things like volunteering and beyond. With this training I got from ACTogether Uganda they helped us in telling stories about where we come from.The training had been tailor made for youths from informal settlements with the aim of equipping them with skills to tell our own stories and writing reports through documentation.

The ACTogether country director by then Skye Dobson and Ssonko Isaac a documentation officer respectively took us through the process of blogs and pictures and stressed it that those two are great tools of communication. And i got to learn that, documentation with its entire package plays a critical role in every step of community development or activity of the federation and since that time I developed a stronger  passion about telling authentic stories of my hood through blogs and pictures and this website has featured me always and so perfectly .Two years now I have watched myself trying, I have watched myself doing a first blog, I have watched myself also failing here and there, I watched myself repeating the same mistakes and eventually i got it right by today

Being adocumentor requires a lot of sacrifice, discipline and determination. You have to give your Attention to the community and learn from others. It will help bring a story into life and ease the huge task for a documenter

My  journey as a documenter has been totally amazing and truthfully documenting has been one hell of a roller-coaster. But growing up from the ghetto  and savoring the slum life has only trained me to always fight hard and smart to achieve greatness. Some projects are easy and easily doable but I have also experienced a heap of hardness and tough moments that required I think go on my feet and from all the activities I have ever documented in I have always learned one extra thing about this field and about the community

A quick talk with me will notify you I am a proud slum boy more hopeful than I was 5years back when I literally used to call ghetto a" hell on earth " because when i got documentation skills from ACTogether Uganda they gave me power to contribute to the change I wanted to where I Stay and am a believer so God is the anchor of my strength. And I believe one day a story will change the community and its mindset

They say, You only learn and grasp concepts more, when you teach what you learnt and already know to others. For the last one year till now I have been sharing the skills I obtained from ACTogether to my fellow youths in the ghetto whenever I get a chance to do so and this has helped me much to grasp the concept of documentation recently was the Youth Festival held at Makerere varsity freedom square where my documentation colleague from the slum dwellers federation Kawempe region and I  "exhibited" skills specifically in blogging.

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Among the youths who visited our tent was Daniel Mutyaba a second year student of law at Makerere University whom we took through a process from writing a blog to creating a blog site and relevancies of blogs to career and community development .Daniel promised to start  his own blog site and we followed him the next week.

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As a youth in the documentation one has to have as much passion as Daniel and work twice as hard as possible to come up with a half of what the  professionals do but I strongly believe if one believes in themselves then they can do and achieve everything no matter their levels of education or whether one attended school or not and this reminds me I can’t be lazy and I should never expect favors just because I am a youth and am from a slum or you never attended school. Hard work is all you have to practice all the time. Besides, seek proper advice from knowledgeable people. As a documenter I get motivated when I see young people from informal settlements going through these kind of skills empowering trainings like ACTogether Uganda has been availing to the slum youth community and coming out as individuals who can not only practice some of these documentation skills in volunteering but also use the same as a form of income generation to uplift their standards of living.

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Comic Relief NSDFU Cities Alliance Slum Dwellers International Lutheran World Federation  GLNT/UN HABITAT  

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