By Ambrose Pyatich,
Umoja development organization [UD] is a community-based organization [CBO] that was formed in the year 2009 to promote children, women, and people with disabilities [PWDs] affairs and we operate in West Pokot County and some of our advocacy go across the Ugandan border among Pokot IN Amudat district Tepeth in Moroto district and Kadama in Nakapirirpirit in Eastern Uganda and those 3 community since they practice cross-border FGM.
During just concluded GMC campaign activities, we engaged the following: –
- A senior nurse to educate the general public about the negative effects and implications of FGM/C, CM, and other forms of GBV since they are experts in that field and they can give data and life experiences.
- Chairperson of religious leaders in West Pokot County to educate the general public of West Pokot County what the word of God says / religion say about women or girl’s circumcision and they are in a better position to be listened to and they can reach more people in the society,
- Chairperson of maendeleo ya wanawake organization [MYWO] – West Pokot County since she is the leader of women and the topic of discussion is women and girls, she can educate the general public and what she says can be taken seriously with her fellow women and girls and also, she has a good network of women representative in different parts of the County, she is also experienced in advocating on issues that affect women and girls
- County youth leader, he is the leader of youths and he knows the issues that affect youths and also has they have representatives of youths in different parts of the County who will pass the message to their colleagues and youths normally listen to what their fellow youths tell them
Media project success:
I can say, the implemented activities ended very successful since many listeners appreciated the radio talkshow and radio advert more so the conveyed message and they requested more of such radio programme and you will get more evidence from the programmes recorded clips. One elder said
‘’ Use of radio can reach many people and more with the use of local language’’Elder
and a woman from Pokot North sub-county which is FGM, CM, and GBV hot spot areas side
‘’ The nurse taught very well and said she wishes it could physical sensitization then it could add more impact and also requested for more radio education programmes’’
During the 2 radio talkshow programme we conducted, the following strongly come out: –
- FGM, CM, and GBV have reduced in Pokot communities since there are some training and awareness creation meetings conducted in various parts of Pokot County.
- FGM and CM are being done underground and in secret due to existing laws and the presence of law enforcement officers in their communities
- That some chiefs and police are sympathizers to FGM and CM perpetrators
- What can be done to prevent early pregnancies among school-going girls since they are the majority when it comes to getting pregnancies
- A lot of pregnancies occur among school-going boys and girls hence becoming difficult to report
- Boda Boda guys/riders are the main culprits of impregnating school going girls
- There are places without law enforcement officers, poor road and network connectivity, and lack of rescue centers of safehouses making rescues and referrals very difficult in those areas.
Unexpected Wins is that the following day, after the radio programme, some women and youth leaders, chiefs, 2 members of county assembly [MCAs], 3 religious and opinion leaders called me appreciating the messages which were passed through the radio programme and requested for more radio programmes. We were not expecting some of them to be following the radio programme and that was very motivating.
There is a lot of cross-border circumcisions and due to poor coordination among the 2 County leadership hence becoming poor to arrest the culprits.
I could get radio adverts from different stakeholders like from known ex-circumciser, role models, religious leaders, gatekeepers, opinion leaders, key and influential elected and appointed leaders. On the same note, we could arrange and bring facilitators from the cross the border during the radio talk shows and radio advert