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NSSF launches week-long donation drive, expected to collect 6,000 units of blood.

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Dr. Dorothy Kyeyune Byabazaire, Director Uganda Blood Transfusion Services addresses media during the launch of the  NSSF blood donation drive held at Mulago Hospital on Monday. Looking on is NSSF Managing Director Richard Byarugaba.

Dr. Dorothy Kyeyune Byabazaire, Director Uganda Blood Transfusion Services addresses media during the launch of the NSSF blood donation drive held at Mulago Hospital on Monday. Looking on is NSSF Managing Director Richard Byarugaba.

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF)’s annual countrywide blood donation drive is expected to add over 6,000 units of blood to the National Blood Bank, Managing Director Richard Byarugaba announced at the launch of the week long drive at Mulago Hospital in Kampala.

The drive, which kicked off on Monday, January 14, 2019 is aimed at boosting blood collection across the country. It is being undertaken in partnership with the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS) under the Ministry of Health and the Uganda Red Cross Society.

Byarugaba, an avid blood donor himself, said that the Fund owes it to its members to contribute to meaningful social causes that affect them diversely. A potential blood shortage he said, affects everyone indiscriminately regardless of stature and standing in society. “We are one of the organisations that has a footprint across the country or whose business affects a wider population. We are passionate about the communities we serve and believe a healthy community is critical for the fulfilment of our mandate. That is why we are committing resources and our office spaces this week as donation collection points” said Byarugaba.

Under the theme “Stand Up for Life”, the donation drive will take place at the Constitutional Square in Kampala, Workers House, Clock Tower, Mukwano Arcade and Owino Market, Kalerwe, Bwaise, Mukono, and Entebbe.

Upcountry, the donation drive will be held at NSSF Branch Offices offices in Mbale, Mbarara, Gulu, Arua, Fort Portal, Jinja, Mukono, Kabale and Masaka as well as other high traffic areas in major towns.

Dr. Dorothy Kyeyune Byabazaire, the Director Uganda Blood Transfusion Services commended NSSF in championing this cause, saying that whereas as UBTS they is mandated to collect 1,200 units of blood daily to meet the country’s demand, they are only able to collect under 800 units due to various challenges that range from access to funding and other logistics.

“Many of our international partners are cutting back their support which has left the National Blood Bank with challenges. We therefore have to start looking within the country for partners. We appreciate organisations such as NSSF that have come in to fill this void. We hope other organisations and individuals can emulate this gesture,” Dr Kyeyune said.

To qualify as a blood donor, someone has to be above the age of 17 years, weigh more than 45kg, and is in good health.

Statistics from World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that Uganda has an annual demand of about 340,000 units of blood but falls short by over 100,000 units. Last year, only 240,000 units were collected against a targeted 340,000 units in Uganda. This year, the Uganda Blood Bank is aiming to collect 300,000 units of blood.

Robert Kwesiga, the Secretary General Uganda Red Cross Society said; “Uganda Red Cross through the MOH has the mandate of mobilising Voluntary blood donors in Uganda. We appreciate corporate entities like NSSF that come one board to complement our efforts through mobilising customers and their stakeholders to appreciate such a humanitarian cause. Donating blood saves lives and is voluntary. We therefore appreciate the spirit behind this and pray that this grows beyond the one week blood drive to something bigger which we can do every other year”.

“Uganda Red Cross has a blood donor recruitment Strategy where we preach to the converted first (our volunteers and members) to donate and live by example. From there, other people join and appreciate the worth of life. With that, we stop relying on students and young people whom we always target while in schools. Our branch network across the country is well positioned and volunteers in communities do this very well as part of our community activities”.

“I want to call upon all people who fall under the age bracket of blood donors, and are in good health to heed to the call and see that we deal with blood shortages and save lives of vulnerable people who require blood transfusions. We are able and can meet the country blood targets, we just have to work hard and improve public perceptions and attitude towards donating blood,” he added.

Among the other Corporate Social Responsibility activities NSSF engages are a charity run that benefits disadvantaged public primary schools in Kampala, a Career expo to prepare university students to join the workforce, annual donations to support hospitals and financial literacy programmes.

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Five ways youths can be champions of peace in their societies.

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By Staff Writer

Uganda is dominated by the youth going by their population size in the country. Having the largest percentage,  it is vital that the youth are involved in all or most of the country’s development initiatives including peace building. Youth involvement cannot only be externally initiated. Youth by themselves can be champions of peace building in their societies. Here are the 5 things youth can do to achieve this:

Embracing communication, listening, and empathy skills – To champion peace, youth should listen to each other and get ideas and perceptions of people regardless of ones background. These ideas are put together, discussed and the outcomes used to build a solution. The solution can be used to solve conflict and create peace in society.

Dialoguing and consulting the experts – There are always those who have the expertise and have seen more. Try and get help from them. In the process of dialoguing you can share ideas and come up to one solution. To champion peace, you can also work with the peacebuilding champions who have gone through training and have networks embracing youth initiatives.

Networks and Forums – Embracing networks and forums within your scope can go a long way in helping you champion peace in society. When you are united in a forum or a network, it is easy for you to reach out to national forums. The ideas from the dialogues are able to have a strong solution that will be able to champion peacebuilding initiatives and give a voice to the voiceless.

File photo: A youth-led peacebuilding training session.

Use of IT for development – Using IT and digital platforms including Social Media to spread peace and not conflict goes a long away in peacebuilding. Youth leaders can communicate with varied audiences and those that are far from them using the internet in order to spread the peacebuilding message. For example, if there is a proactive group and a network in Kampala, they can easily link up using ICT and share those ideas with another group in Bundibugyo or Kasese. Trainings can also be done online and out of the training people that the leader has trained can share ideas as they are empowered through the skills and knowledge.

Gender consideration – Consideration of gender equality is a must for youth to champion peace in society. Women and girls must be an integral part of the initiatives for peacebuilding. As a youth if you are planning to do a peace building mission in Kampala, look at the percentages of how many women are on the team verses the men. Women must be considered as part of each and every peacebuilding element that the youth are involved.

About ACORD Uganda

The Agency for Cooperation in Research and Development – Uganda (ACORD-U) is a Ugandan National Non-Governmental Organization that has worked in Uganda since 1979. With headquarters in Nsambya-Kampala and several other offices across the Country, ACORD-U aspires to contribute towards Uganda’s Development and Humanitarian Responses for Vulnerable Communities in Rural and Peri-Urban Areas. Currently, ACORD-U Implements interventions in more than 23 Districts in the South-western, Western, Northern, West-Nile, and Eastern Parts of Uganda. Promoting peace building and peaceful co-existence are part of our mandate in Uganda.

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Online Media Publishers’ Association statement on arrest and illegal detention of Mr. Ronald Nahabwe of The Capital Times news site

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By Staff Writer
The Online Media Publishers’ Association (OMPA) has noted with concern, the arrest and continued detention of Mr. Ronald Nahabwe, a journalist at Capital Times, a news website operating in Uganda.


We are aware that Mr Nababwe was arrested this Monday, 22nd June 2020, and is still being held at the Uganda Police Force’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Kireka in connection with publishing a story about a confidential letter authored by a church leader to the head of state.


As at today, 25th June 2020, Nahabwe, will have been in detention for over 72 hours without being produced before a competent court of law. It is our understanding that the police are in the meantime subjecting him to coercive means so that he can reveal his sources.

Mr Ronald Nahabwe of thecapitaltimes.co.ug


The Online Media Publishers’ Association strongly condemns the abuse of Mr. Nahabwe’s rights and wishes to remind the Uganda Police Force that journalism is not a crime.


We demand that he be allowed access to legal counsel and immediately be produced before courts of law or he be released unconditionally, if there are no credible charges against him.


While we continue to assess the matter, we take this opportunity to reiterate to all Ugandans, including those in positions of authority, that #JournalismIsNotACrime.


Giles Muhame
President, OMPA

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Engaging the youth is a big part of peacebuilding in Uganda

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By Staff Writer

Ugandan National Non-Governmental Organisation, ACORD Uganda (The Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development) recently held a webinar where they shared lessons on peacebuilding in Uganda. The lessons were drawn from the Generation for Generation (G4G) dialogues between youth and local government leaders in the districts of Bundibugyo, Kasese and Wakiso. One of the key take-outs from the webinar that was attended by youth representatives and ACORD Uganda staff, was the issue of engaging the youth as a big part of peacebuilding in the country.

Speaking to the youth through the webinar, ACORD Uganda’s Project Officer for M&E who was also the moderator of the session said that with support from UNFPA, they are organizing a very proactive engagement with the youth leaders and potential youth leaders who are enthusiastic in making sure they expand the peacebuilding initiatives in key conflict hotspots in Bundibugyo, Kasese, and Wakiso.

John Okwera was supplemented by Catherine Muhindi Atwine, a Program Coordinator in ACORD by saying that they are talking peace and peacebuilding with the youth in Uganda as a focus since the youth make up the biggest percentage of the country’s population.

“Uganda has seen and suffered all types of conflict. It is not just the political conflict but includes things like tribalism, land disputes among others. The biggest part of the population in Uganda is youthful. This project comes in to make sure that this big part of the population is engaged and is at the center and is empowered and supported to take charge of peacebuilding where they are involved.”

Catherine went on to add that; “This project is funded by UNFPA and we are well aligned to the SDG 16 which talks about peace and justice and strong institutions, for the young people to encourage their voices to come out.”

“What do the youth understand by peace, are we speaking for them or they are actually speaking for themselves. We are counting on them to be the leaders of tomorrow because they matter and we want to create a platform where their voices are heard. This is being done through their leaders and institutions.”

It should be noted that people are always saying that the youth are at the forefront of everything, but sometimes they are incited and they don’t know what is going on much as they are taking part in it. ACORD Uganda wants to bring young people on board for them to come out and be involved in peacebuilding processes. They also want to empower the youth because this means they are empowering an entire future generation.

As a nonpartisan organization, ACORD Uganda does not subscribe to any political, religious, and pressure institution, but is an NGO that seeks to work to empower the vulnerable communities by playing a facilitation role. Through training and capacity building of the youth leadership in the focus districts, the youth have been helped to understand issues of peace and how the youth can be brought to the forefront. This has also been extended to issues of gender equality since inclusiveness is an important part when discussing peace for everyone.

Catherine finished her submission in the webinar by quoting one of the youth leaders who had this to say during one of the G4G. “The youth are always being ignored and they are looked at negatively even when they try to do positive things in society, they still need inspiration for everyone to recognize that they have contributed positively.”

The webinar
was also attended by Lapwony Patrick Loum( Project officer), Wenaheereza Conrad
(A youth leader, Kampala), Kwagala Moses (Staff in charge of the project in
Kampala) and Kiconco Annah (Project Officer in charge of the project in Kasese),
among others.

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King’s College Budo: An Era of Misogyny, Sexism and Discrimination

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King’s College Budo may not be the Heaven that it is sold to be. Last week, old girls of Budo took to Twitter to reveal the hell tales from their experiences studying at Budo. For many souls, the experiences came as shocking revelations. Parents with hopes of getting their girls to Budo had to rethink their choices. Other parents with daughters at Budo were forced to reconsider their decisions.

But what really happened at Budo? How did the school roll down the ugly alleys of abuse, misogyny and discrimination? It is said by the old girls that the boys and teachers never stopped reminding the girls of how they should count themselves lucky sharing a class with the boys. The concept of male superiority was drilled into everyone at the school. Girls considered it a privilege if a male student talked to them. The boys ran a rating system fully endorsed by the school administration. In here, they rated the girls on the scale of beauty and brains.

In addition to this sexism, the low-income students didn’t have it any easier. The caste system at Budo didn’t spare them either. It was a crime for one to be broke at Budo. “You could see it when Budonias joined other schools at A-level, they would try to import the same caste system,”says someone who studied with former Budonians.

According to the girls, “it’s institutional sexism. All we are seeking is a better life for the girls who will enter the gates of Budo. Girl lives, broke lives, all these lives matter, and they should really matter at Budo,” Paula noted. Budo is in the limelight for failing to live up to the values that it espouses. Many girls’ lives and self-esteem was crushed by the mere fact that they studied at Budo, just like the lives of many low-income students.

Budo is also the only mixed school in Uganda that has prom with other girls’ schools in the country. It doesn’t happen anywhere else. The fact that this is actively encouraged as culture is proof that the situation is almost beyond redemption.

If one is looking for patriarchy at display, they should look no further than Budo. “Basically the guys would call us ‘men in skirts’, to them, we were to ugly, that they would rather spend weeks talking to their fellow boys than to us. Budo is nothing but the capital of emotional bullying. Parents should know that their daughters are going through constant hell,” says Trisha, an old girl. “Can you imagine a girl is not allowed to be a Head Prefect at Budo? The post is reserved for the boys. When a boy sexually harassed you, you had to keep quiet. No one would believe you. You would end up suffering even more,” Trisha continues.

As many noted, this is just the beginning to unpacking years of trauma.

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