Democracy, human rights, the rule of law, civil society and public responsibility, for self- government, in the West Nile sub-region, of North Western Uganda.
The way forward to attaining full cultural, social, economic and political freedom and justice, development, peace, security, national unity and sustained human progress and co-existence.
a- Formal Education: The continuous system of general and basic form of education, which is the most important step towards the complete development of the human person, is required of all children of school age, in any human setting, or order and across every human settlement, or existence in every layer of society.
b- It is important that all children who are enrolled in Primary School Education program, must be encouraged, motivated and supported to remain in school and be prepared to pursue further studies on completion of their Primary School Education.
c- It must be emphasized that every community in which a Primary School Education program exists, must partake in the activities of the school, to ensure that all children must be fully supported in any form, or way, or method deemed necessary to bring about their success and continued progress and advancement in that direction.
d- Education, formal or not, is the key for the complete development of the human person and therefore plays a fundamental role in shaping up and strengthening civil society, in determining and influencing the direction of a nation’s future. Like charity, education should and must begin at home.
We are therefore all responsible for the education of ourselves and our own children and their children’s children. An educated community is an informed community, which can choose to become a powerful community, which will survive and thrive, irrespective of whatever challenges, there may be. Knowledge through education and skills training is vital to the success of communities and society.
- Tertiary Education.
a- An advanced Formal Education: In this advanced stage of continuous system of general education, a special attention must be paid by those directly charged with the responsibility of providing the best possible education there is, to all those who qualify to continue on with further studies.
b- At every level of Secondary School Education, students must be encouraged, motivated, counselled and fully supported, to not only remain in school, but to study fiercely with an ambition to enter University and get a degree, before deciding on the next best thing to do, on their own.
c- To register success in the quality of students we expect to be produced through all forms of Tertiary Education, even including Universities, civil society has a role to play and must therefore decide, once and for all, what sort of education, do people want for their children and for the common good of society.
d- There is an urgent need to introduce new forms of educational subjects, or courses, preparing students for job markets, as soon as they graduate from University and other institutions of higher learning. It is very important to teach and coach students, through a variety of programs, which help students to acquire work skills, before they graduate from University, or institutions of higher learning.
e- There is an urgent need to ensure that as many as is practically possible, graduates from University and other institutions of higher learning, have the opportunity to access full time employment, as soon as they graduate, to ensure that we do not produce graduates who are unable to fit into the job market and become productive citizens, effectively contributing to economic growth and well being of society at large.
f- There is urgent need to change the current system of education in the West Nile sub-region and the entire country, which places too much emphasis on academic work, but so little, or nothing on work skills training, which every graduate must achieve, or is at least, expected to achieve.
- Technical and Vocational Training.
a- This is an important form of education and training, which targets specific levels of formal education and formulates/designs teaching/instructing programs, aiming at cultivating and developing work skills, ready for local job markets, or self-employment prospects and opportunities.
b- This training is most suitable for youth, but should be made available to others in need of such specific work skills, enabling them to become more competitive in the job market, including prospects for self employment. It is designed to train and prepare youth and others, to enter the job market and or self employment, when ready for income generating employment, either as employees, or self-employers, setting up and running their own businesses.
c- This type of training requires serious commitment of all levels of resources, to ensure that every investment in the system of education and skills training produces the desired levels of success, by all participants. Emphasis is laid on students acquiring specific work and or business skills, relevant to future careers.
d- All those charged with the responsibility of carrying out the programs for training students who enrol for this type of training, must ensure that local community involvement and active participation is an important element, to encourage, motivate, inspire, coach, direct and support students, to complete their training and graduate to ready jobs, in the immediate communities and elsewhere.
e- Youth leadership skills are placed in the forefront along side of other technical and technological trade skills, for the purposes of instilling personal and social responsibility, accountability, civic obligation in community development and environmental conservation and stewardship, for sustainable development in every community.
f- New technological advancements, creativity, innovation, research and development must be brought in and incorporated into the system of education and training of the youth and the community in general.
g- Technical and Information Technology teachers and Industry trainers, must be trained and provided with the right tools, equipment and facilities, to serve and provide high quality of instruction and training for the youth and others, to excel, in their choice of various trades, or careers.
- Adult education in literacy, numeracy and basic information and communications technology, including computer skills required for functional application and usage in everyday life.
a- This is an important form of education, everyone aught to have access to receive. It is fundamental for the civic understanding, awareness, obligation, commitment and total engagement in participation of individuals in collective action, for the defence of civil liberties, freedoms and individual rights, in a democratic, fair and just society.
b- It is important to develop the individual human person, to ensure the achievement of a sustainable development and well being of society. There can be no meaningful development, without investing in the complete development of the human person.
The human person is central to any form of development.
c- Through this program of education and training of the adult population, society has a great opportunity to improve conditions for human rights advocacy and exert the understanding of the rule of law, the functions of the judiciary, the entire justice system and it’s implications, for the benefit of local communities.
- Healthcare, medical treatment and services.
a- There is a need to improve access to rural community healthcare services. The current state of most local healthcare facilities is appalling and requires urgent attention to upgrade and restock such facilities, in order to provide adequate medical services to local communities.
b- To improve healthcare services delivery mechanisms and capabilities, through innovation and creativity. A new approach to improve services delivery must be provided, in addition to current and most formal ways of seeing patients at fixed medical facilities, such as hospitals and clinics, most of which are still not easily accessible to many living in remote rural communities, with no public transportation systems, or people not able to afford any transportation costs, to bring patients to hospitals, or clinics, often resulting in patient losses, which could have been prevented, or avoided.
c- To introduce Mobile Clinics, to be mounted on spacious motor vehicles, complete with medical facilities, equipment, tools, medical services and service personnel. The objectives of Mobile Clinics is to be able to take medical services directly to the rural poor, living in remote communities, unable to reach to reach traditional-fix-place, hospitals and clinics.
d- It is important to improve supply chain for inventory replenishment, shipment, safe and clean storage, efficient and transparent distribution and effective disbursement to patients.
e- There is a need to harmonise and co-ordinate rural healthcare services delivery, to ensure prompt response to patient attendance ant treatment, to save more lives, especially mothers and children.
f- There is a need to improve local, regional and national communication and transportation services, of healthcare services delivery, to directly benefit all rural communities, no matter how remote, from the nearest civic centres.
g- There is a need to improve physical health infrastructure, as a long term strategy, by adding value to existing structures, building new facilities, in remote communities, bringing in new equipment, tools and spare parts with services.
h- There is also a need to add more professional medical staff, such as Medical Doctors, Registered Nurses, Midwives and Medical Assistants. More auxiliary staff are needed, for menial jobs, so that nurses and medical assistant and midwives are fully engaged with their regular activities, in efficient patient care and effective services delivery. All these changes and actions are expected to bring about desirable impact on patient care and treatment, to improve and save many more lives.
- Preventive healthcare support services.
a- The promotion and encouragement of practices in preventive medicine and support services is an important component of a good and effective healthcare delivery, especially to rural communities. Evidence is available, which clearly suggests that rural communities in which such services are provided have faired and lived better lives in general, than those who do not. A good example is the distribution and training in proper use of treated mosquito nets, in a number of rural communities in the West Nile sub-region, has shown a remarkable reduction in cases of malaria, affecting children under five years. Hence, a continued re-supply and re-distribution of more treated mosquito nets, even though in some cases, mosquitoes are known to have become resistant to treated nets.
b- The promotion and encouragement of use of clean and safe water, for drinking and other vital services, in many parts of the West Nile sub-region, has shown remarkable results of reduced cases in water related diseases, such as cholera and typhoid, for example.
This is one of the reasons why we must continue to provide access to clean and safe water, to more communities, especially those living in remote parts of the sub-region.
c- The promotion and encouragement of use of nutritional foods, family hygiene and adequate sanitation are vital to improve the health and wellness of households, resulting in less stressful healthcare costs to families and improved productivity per household, for a sustainable life.
It is also one good reason why, more communities are being supported and encouraged through education and training, to provide nutritious foods for their families, maintain a high level of family hygiene and good sanitation facilities that are kept clean and safe, at all times.
Healthy families can translate into better and improved agricultural production, leading to food security and better lives, so long as other factors remain in good form and favourable.
d- These and many other preventive healthcare support services are needed, to augment the treatment and care of patients, in a fight against diseases, many of which are treatable and curable, thus leading to saving of many lives.
e- In order to achieve a large degree of success in preventive healthcare services provision, reaching out to more rural communities, it is paramount that more investments are needed in local capacity strength of human resources, through further education and training, local institutional capacity building, affordable transportation and communications infrastructure improvement and generating more community awareness, to enlist a wider, grass roots community engagement and full participation.
- General assumptions.
So much emphasis has been placed on the need to increase development assistance for sustainable development in the poorest countries in the developing world, most of which are found in sub-Saharan Africa. For many years, it appears that this has been the main focus of development aid, without too much, or serious consideration being given to the actual development of the human person.
The same appears to be the case when it comes to other equally important issues such as human rights, democracy, the rule of law, gender equality, access to vital resources by those most vulnerable in society, women, girls and the disabled, just for a few to mention, that not much progress has been made to reach out for the development of the human person, while addressing these critical issues, in hopes of improving lives of the poorest around the world, particularly so in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet most people in the international development community would clearly agree that, the most fundamental, single issue should be the development of the actual human person, arguing that the success of any other aspect of social, economic and political development hinges on it. At least, this is what I believe and I know it has potential to make a significant difference, between the success or failure of a development project for the poor.
I am personally convinced that in order to achieve everlasting development goals, for pulling out the poorest from poverty and other forms of ills, we need to refocus our attention to carefully redirect more resources, for total commitment to the development of the human person, for every other form of development will only succeed well, when a human person is well developed and therefore widely aware of their situation and can make informed decisions, on a better, or clear perception, understanding, meaningful interpretation and sound appreciation of everyday issues in their environment.
And only then can we, or do we hope to see a marked improvement in the effectiveness of development aid, as sustainable development will become more successful, as the recipient partner, participants gain complete control of the entire process, from start to finish, once they are educated, trained, becoming skilful, well informed and ready to take up all aspects of development challenges.
- Main objectives.
The real objectives, as I envision them from approaching any meaningful, but sustainable development, to uplift the poorest of the developing world, including sub-Saharan Africa, from ever evident presence of poverty, are best, fully rooted in a well developed human person, no matter what level of education, training, or field of instruction the human person may ever receive. Knowledge is of essence, for the survival of the human person.
Hence, education and training are major instruments of any meaningful and lasting change for good of society. For an example, one of the simplest questions is that, how do you expect anybody, with no known education, or unquestionable knowledge, to understand the meaning of the rule of law and therefore the importance of compliance to up keep law and order, or the meaning of sustainable agriculture and therefore the need for applying the best agricultural practices, or the meaning of human rights and freedoms, therefore the need to have it protected, so as to safeguard the individual civil liberties, or the meaning of nutrition and hygiene, therefore the need not only to have enough, or sufficient food to eat, but to have a balanced mix of nutrition rich foods, or for that matter, the meaning of democracy and therefore, the importance of fighting for freedom, justice, equality and the right to pursue happiness? These and many others are fundamental elements in life that, the poor must be made to acquire, treasure and apply in an everyday life situations, in order that sustainable development may succeed in attaining the desirable objectives, for the common good of all partners and stake holders. It is possible that through such an approach, one could achieve a higher level of measuring and understanding the effectiveness of development aid, committed to any human needs-based project, for social justice and peace.
As far as I am involved and remain effectively engaged in social justice and peace initiatives, to raise the poor from the bring of poverty, I intent to pursue the course of delivering solutions for social change, through massive programs of different forms of education and skills training, involving men, women and children, throughout every rural community and semi-urban centres, all over West Nile sub-region, of north western Uganda.
We, at Project Green Villages Africa Institute intend to pursue this project, under the umbrella of, ‘Affordable Community Education for All.’ Every person in every house hold must have direct access to a high level of functional form of education and training, in order to be capable of making independent and informed decisions on everyday issues that affect them. A required basic knowledge and understanding, which is essential for any meaningful success to be achieved, in sustainable development of any kind, designed to uplift the poorest of the poor from the yoke of poverty.
It is my personal goal to see that a high level of literacy is achieved throughout the entire West Nile sub-region, by the year 2025. By the year 2020, I want to ensure that every member in every household is able to write, read and clearly follow simple, written or verbal, instructions, or directions to be able to perform and accomplice simple, but important tasks, as part of a long term strategy to ensure effectiveness of individual performance and participation, towards achieving a greater level of overall development project success. By the year 2016, I want to ensure that almost half of school age youth, in the sub-region, irrespective of whether or not they are still within the continuous system off formal education, so long as, they have sufficient command of the English Language to follow computer training programs, will have achieved middle and or advanced levels of computer literacy and competence.
My strategy is to achieve above average level of basic or common knowledge, understanding, functionality deemed essential to take up civic responsibility, for self governance, necessary for attaining and maintaining a high degree of sustainable development in the sub-region. For me this would mean providing an important platform to communities, for acquiring the basic tools for long term, strategic and comprehensive empowerment, freedom and independent living.
In order to stimulate, motivate and encourage grass roots community participation in this effort for mass education and training, we will launch an aggressive investment strategy, to lobby local and foreign investors to set up specific industry-based cottage industries for manufacturing and processing products locally in the sub-region. We will equally devote resources to develop comprehensive marketing strategies for both local and cross-border, (export), markets, in hopes of boosting local economic growth and create hundreds of income generating employment for local communities, making life in rural communities, simply one of the best, if not the very best in the country. This is a moving away from the dirty cities strategy, for a healthier and greener living of simple lifestyles in the rural communities, for a better perspective on life and the natural environment.
- Secondary objectives.
Emphasis is to be placed on identifying required human resources, local infrastructure of transportation, communications, affordable/renewable energy sources, business/office spaces, clean/safe water and affordable/sustainable sanitation, office furniture, fittings equipment, stationery and supplies.
- We will identify and recruit potential and skilled Trainers to first train a team of local trainers, who will then assume responsibilities of further training assignments, in various areas of discipline. The team of trainees will become focus groups and local community, civic leaders, responsible for co-ordinating and implementing local community education and training projects. They will work in close collaboration and co-operation of all local education and training institutions, government departments, local community leaders and civil society organizations. They will be supplied with necessary equipment, tools and services, for optimum performances, in an effective and efficient service delivery.
Trainers will be distributed in various sectors of the local economy, to ensure that we provide adequate training in all areas of endeavour, in order to meet our challenges for massive education and skills training, to equip every house hold with the essential knowledge, work skills and a better understanding of local issues and challenges, for effective and productive participation in a meaningful sustainable development, throughout the communities in the West Nile sub-region, by the year 2020.
- We will identify and enlist the services of affordable/dependable local transportation providers, to support our ground transportation requirements, on the basis of need, for both short and long terms.
Were as the use of motor vehicles is important, we will seek to provide most of our field staff/assistants/volunteers with motorcycles and bicycles, where this is practical, for use in many rural and semi-urban settings/centres.
- We will identify and lease, or purchase to own, a number of communications gear, for official use, to aid our communications infrastructure. Computers, mobile phones, GPS communications systems, walkie-talkies, land line phones, (where necessary/applicable), videos/cameras, affordable/portable radios, computer tablets and accessories.
- We will identify and purchase office furniture, fittings, equipment, stationery and supplies, in accordance to the needs of the organization, to meet demand for basic requirements, from time to time.
- We will acquire and lease a local Post Office Box services, for the movement of our external/physical mail, such as letters and parcels. Where as there will be need to move bulk/physical mail with speed/urgency, we will use localized courier system and or runners for deliveries of such local mail bags. It is anticipated that a good percentage of our mail, destined for the sub-region will be moved/distributed by travelling field personnel.
All important medical services mail, including medical equipment and essential medical supplies, will always be given top priority for urgent deliveries using special equipped motor vehicles, to service existing chain of medical facilities across the entire West Nile sub-region.
Local Community Services Strengthening and Improvement Initiative.
Every effort is to be made to ensure that every community has direct access to participate and engage freely, in any form of sports activities of their choice, either as participants and or spectators.
In order to effectively promote active and healthy life styles for members of different communities in the sub-region, the availability of sports facilities, equipment and services is vital and an important social investment.
We will do everything possible to mobilize, sensitize, organize, motivate, encourage and support members of communities to embrace some form of sports activities, to enrich their physical, mental and social lives.
A particular attention will be paid to organized and competitive youth sports, for both girls and boys, throughout every community. Major group sports, such as football, or soccer, track and field, netball, volley-ball, basket ball, rugby, boxing and hand ball,(European), which have become so popular in the sub-region over the years, will be given unprecedented financial backing and technical support, in promoting and staging them at grass roots level.
Girls and young women will be given a top priority, when sports programs are rolled out for each community, as a major component of rural community social development approach.
We will endearvour to organize and host all forms of sporting activities, events and competitions, at local community levels, in which different teams, taking part in different sporting events and competitions, will drawn from all levels of competitive age groups.
Competitive games and tournaments will be encouraged and supported through local Schools, Colleges and Universities, to compete against each other and at different levels of academic institutions.
Meanwhile there will be regular sports competitions organized at sub-county, county and as well as district levels. There will be competitions for both mature children and mature adults. Both young girls and mature women will be encouraged to participate regularly.
It is hoped that a special section of the website will be devoted to host sports programming, featuring planned sports activities, competitive events and celebrations, with sports updates posted as and whenever available and time permitting.
A community without culture is a community without past and future direction. It is a community doomed to face a lot of challenges related to cultural identity and cultural survival, let alone cultural emancipation and or freedom.
We at Project Green Villages Africa Institute will work with local communities, throughout the West Nile sub-region, to encourage people, to become more actively involved and participate in fostering and advancing their cultural values and lifestyles, through regularly organized community activities and or events, to better articulate cultural norms and values.
We will work closely with different local communities, to identify and develop local programs, supporting local cultural activities and or events, to create local awareness, to generate interest for effective local community engagement and meaningful participation, for a richer cultural living, in hopes of bringing about cultural unity and community cohesion, for sustainable cultural emancipation and well being.
We will also work together with different local communities, to bring together a mix of sporting activities and or events and cultural functions or exhibits, to boost local community tourism, generating incomes, for such communities, in the process.
This position paper was created and written by Mr. Augustine Yada.
Founder/Executive Director, Project Green Villages Africa Institute.
15th February, 2016.