By Ambrose Gahene
Kanungu district leadership held a dialogue with ABEG, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) aimed at devising ,means on how empower Batwa communities, through provision of education and health facilities;
Hajj Shafiq Sekandi Kanungu Resident District Commissioner (RDC), hailed ABEG, as a voice of the voiceless Batwa communities and promised to give them full support. He also thanked all well-wishers who have been there for Batwa Communities, during the COVID 19 pandemic by providing food relief and basic necessities.
Josephine Kasya, the district Chairperson, thanked the Batwa Parents for collaborating with sponsors to make sure that the Batwa Children receive quality education and for supporting government programmes.
Kwizera Alex, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Kanungu district, opened the dialogue and commended the work done by Kanungu district leadership. He emphasized that in Kanungu Batwa are not neglected, but rather respected.
“Am proud that in Kanungu we have Batwa who have graduated to Masters and Bachelors degrees plus other levels of education, I request that it should not be indicated in research findings that Batwa are denied access to education and health facilities because they are given special attention in Kanungu” Kwizera Said.
Kokunda Sylivia, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) ABEG, a Mutwa with a masters degree in Organizational Leadership, applauded the Batwa Development Programme (BDP) in collaboration with the Diocese of Kinkiizi for supporting and equipping her Education and leadership skills and other Batwa children.
She said ABEG was started to address the Batwa concerns, adding that though they are studying, the turn up is very low and drop out rate is too high among Batwa communities. She enumerated the challenges to the education of Batwa to include; sickness among the Batwa children, lack of adequate food for children, early marriages and teenage pregnancies and poverty at household level, among others.
Ms Kokunda concluded by requesting for an affirmative action from Government both material and social support to raise the standards of a mutwa child.Sam Kajojo, the District Chairperson elect in his closing remarks pledged to work with the Batwa communities to make sure an affirmative action is sought, as soon as he resumes office.
He appreciated the development among Batwa as many now have self-confidence in themselves.
‘They can now stand in public to address their issues and all the credit goes to BDP’, she said.