Church of Uganda Holds GBV Training in Eastern Uganda (1)
Margaret Kaziimba discussing gender-based violence (GBV) during the 2021 lockdown at a press conference.

For the purpose of reducing gender-based violence (GBV) in Eastern Uganda, the Church of Uganda has begun training interfaith leaders on matters regarding the prevention of GBV in the districts of Kumi and Bukedea that are part of the Kumi Diocese.

As part of the efforts to reduce the rampant cases of gender-based violence (GBV) in Eastern Uganda, the Church of Uganda has begun training interfaith leaders in the area on matters concerning the prevention of GBV in the districts of Kumi and Bukedea that form the Kumi Diocese.  

In a training held at North East Villa Hotel in Kumi Municipality today, Irene Anena, Church of Uganda’s Program Officer for gender and social justice said the Church decided to use the interfaith approach to fight against GBV because the faith leaders are respected in communities and have strategic spaces to interact with people.

“The faith leaders are highly respected in the communities they live and serve. Using their strategic spaces, they can be heard and this will contribute to change in negative social behavior that promotes GBV hence peaceful communities and families. But also, GBV does not discriminate based on our religious differences. That’s why we are coming together as interfaith to reduce these ungodly acts,” Anena said.

She said with support from Dan Church Aid (DCA) and ACT Alliance, the Church of Uganda has been able to mobilize leaders from the Muslim faith, Catholic faith, Pentecostal Assemblies of God, the Anglican faith, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Orthodox faith in the area and their leaders are being trained to be community agents of Change against GBV.

“This training has raised my hopes that we are destined to a spirited campaign. All faith leaders present are enthusiastic to utilize the knowledge learnt from the technical people in the workshop to transform their communities.” She added.

In the training workshop, interfaith leaders pledged to take the matter of confidentiality seriously, undertake information and awareness-raising campaigns for communities targeting women, girls, leaders, cultural, traditional and their fellow interfaith leaders and to ensure that services and safe spaces are available for survivors of GBV and follow-up activities to support them.

Sheikh Abdul Wahab, the District Kadhi for Kumi lauded the Church of Uganda and its partners for introducing this approach and engaging the Muslim faith to partner to jointly fight against GBV.

“My participation in this training has equiped me with information and knowledge to manage GBV cases and the necessary referral pathways. Our region is badly hit by the vice especially since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. I believe, this approach of bringing us together as religious leaders to speak out will influence the communities in which we live and serve to be peaceful.” Sheikh Wahab said.

Meanwhile, the training is part of the Interfaith action for gender and economic justice being implemented in Eastern Uganda in the Districts of Kumi and Bukedea funded by Dan Church Aid and ACT Alliance.