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Report on ‘Women, Culture and Rights in Acholi’ launched

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More than 80 representatives from cultural institutions, government, civil society, religious institutions, individual cultural activists, writers and the media gathered at Kakanyero Hotel in Gulu to witness the launch of an important research report on “Women, Culture and Rights in Acholi”.

Culture and traditions have often been perceived in Uganda as reinforcing gender inequality. This report (which focuses on the Acholi region, specifically Gulu, Kitgum and Lamwo), explores women’s rights in Acholi not only derived from current laws, but are also defined by long standing tradition. It also discusses how these can be used to enhance women’s empowerment today .

Rt. Rev. Macleord Baker Ochola II, Retired Anglican Bishop of the Diocese of Kitgum emphasized the need to document Acholi values for posterity and encouraged women to assert their rights especially what already exists in their culture other than newly introduced perceptions of rights.

Research findings

The research findings show that, in spite of the upheavals of the last decades, Acholi culture has proved resilient in many aspects and still has well-structured systems through which gender-related rights have been passed on from generation to generation. Some of these present opportunities to empower women and girls today are linked to the traditional roles that women play in peace-building, nurturing and socialisation children, and using the power of orature as a communication tool to bring about change in perceptions and attitudes on gender relations.

Call for action

CCFU called upon the Government of Uganda and development partners to recognize the value of using existing cultural values and practices which can be used to reinforce efforts to promote peaceful co-existence, tolerance, food security, productivity, gender equity, restore moral and dignity in society

The launch marked the beginning of a project implemented by the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU) with support from Diakonia to enhance women’s and girls’ ability to use cultural values and practices in private and public spaces to better defend their rights.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Cultural Institutions set Guidelines for Oil Companies

Over the past few years, traditional cultural institutions have called for their meaningful involvement in the oil and gas sector to enhance economic benefits and development for their respective communities and to protect the cultural resources located within the oil rich regions.

On 21st June, the three prime ministers from Ker Kwaro Acholi, Alur Kingdom and Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom launched Guidelines to equip cultural leaders in their institutions in managing their relationship with the oil and gas companies as productively as possible.

The launch in Hoima was witnessed by representatives from cultural institutions, the oil and gas companies active in the region, the Ministry of Energy and other government agencies, civil society, religious institutions, individual cultural activists and well-wishers. All recognised the important role of Cultural Institutions in the oil and gas sector in the Albertine graben, in conformity with the Constitution and relevant laws of Uganda.

The guidelines were developed to protect and promote the cultural rights of the concerned communities in Bunyoro, Alur and Acholi, and to promote their cultural, economic and social well-being. They reflect the three cultural institutions’ determination to play an active role in preserving tangible and intangible cultural heritage, in ensuring sustainable development and in fostering peace amongst communities. The three cultural institutions jointly developed the Guidelines in a cooperative spirit and expressed the hope that they will also be of use to other cultural institutions in the country as natural and mineral resources are increasingly drawing the attention of investors, sometimes to the detriment of cultural heritage.

In the Guidelines, the concerned cultural institutions urge oil companies to:

  • Adhere to cultural rights and respect the rights of people to access, express and enjoy their culture in conditions of equality, human dignity and non-discrimination.
  • Respect and protect cultural, historical and sacred natural sites potentially affected by oil and gas activities, and allow unimpeded access to these sites for the affected communities.
  • Safeguard land, environment and natural resources, in view of their cultural and economic value, recognise the statutory responsibility of cultural leaders in the management of land held under customary tenure, avoid any form of pollution and consult the affected communities and their cultural institutions with regard to activities impacting natural resources.
  • Respect the cultural norms, values and practices of the people, to take all necessary measures to avoid harmful practices and unbecoming behaviours not in agreement with local culture and ensure that oil company and related staff understand well the cultural context in which they operate.
  • Contribute to sustainable livelihood, by making all efforts to use local resources, including labour, enterprises, foodstuffs in the implementation of activities for the benefit of local communities, and ensure comprehensive compensation and restoration whenever livelihood options are negatively affected.
  • Promote peaceful coexistence, by cooperating closely with cultural leaders and making use of traditional justice systems as the first system of conflict resolution.
  • Align all corporate social responsibility initiatives with the priorities and aspirations of the communities concerned.
  • Ensure transparency and accountability through an effective and meaningful flow of information with cultural institutions and their communities, and by incorporating the concerned communities and their cultural leaders in relevant decision-making fora.

The Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda facilitated the process and calls upon the government of Uganda to enhance the cultural institutions’ ability to contribute to the responsible extraction of oil and gas, taking into account the need for heritage preservation and community development.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Dec, 2015: The Annual Heritage Prize Awarding Ceremony for the Youth

On December 11th, 2015, about 70 representatives from more than 50 secondary schools (mostly teachers, young people and their parents) in Uganda were joined by representatives of government, civil society, individual cultural heritage enthusiasts, media and well wishers to witness the heritage prize awarding ceremony for the youth at Ndere Center, Ntinda – Kampala, Uganda .

Young people both in and out of school participated in the National Annual Heritage Competition in 2015. The main goal of the competition is to enhance the appreciation of our heritage as Ugandans through the eyes and hands of young people. For the 2015 competition, young people below the age of 20 were asked to draw or paint objects or activities that are important in their local culture and explain why they are important. More than 350 entries were received. A panel of cultural heritage experts selected 14 of the best entries which have been used to design a national heritage calendar for the year 2016 – this was also launched on the same day.

The Guest of Honour, Sr. Dominic Dipio, (an Associate Professor of Literature, Department of Literature, School of Languages, Literature and Communication, College of Humanities and Social Sciences), awarded the winners in the competition in recognition of their efforts to demonstrate their understanding of culture. The ceremony provided an opportunity for stakeholders to better understand how youth can meaningfully engage in appreciation of the nation’s heritage as a way of heritage preservation and promotion.

About 70% of Uganda’s population is below 25 years. It is a firm conviction that our cultural heritage: our customs, stories, poems, dances, songs, crafts, and sites should be preserved through the hands of young people, who do not only constitute the biggest percentage of our population but are also the future custodians of our heritage. Our nation’s moral compass is largely dependent on a heritage consciousness of young generation.

Story also published in The East African News Paper

HEP Competititon 2015 winnerCalendar

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

CCFU Launches the Historical Buildings and Sites Map of Kampala “A Journey through Kampala’s History”

Kampala is fast expanding and becoming a modern city, but also losing its historical and cultural identity, especially as historical buildings and sites get modified or even demolished.

The Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda, in partnership with the Uganda Tourism Board, Buganda Heritage and Tourism Board, Uganda National Museum and Kampala Capital City Authority, identified 51 buildings and sites in Kampala, that were constructed before 1969 reflecting Uganda’s socio-cultural, religious, political and economic history. The research and photo documentation of these buildings also highlighted their architectural merit, aesthetic quality, and unique design.

These buildings appear on a map of Historical Buildings and Sites in Kampala launched on 19th November 2015.

Through this initiative, it is anticipated that buildings and sites of cultural and historical significance in Kampala will be better known and preserved by policy makers, owners of these properties and the general public. It is hoped that Uganda will be able to offer an enhanced experience, for local and international tourists, who will discover the history of religions, cultures, education, health and political systems in Uganda.

The Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda, in partnership with relevant stakeholders, plans to advocate for the establishment of legal instruments to identify, list and protect historical properties and to encourage cultural activists and creative artists to use their skills to promote historical buildings. The Foundation will work with owners of historical buildings, and publicly recognize individuals and institutions that have made an outstanding contribution to the preservation of built heritage in Kampala and Uganda in the near future.

We invite you to play your part in promoting this important aspect of our heritage!

To get a copy of the map click here, contact us to get a free copy of the whole map.

Launch

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Closing Ceremony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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John Dekonick of CCFU (left) consults the Hon. Mary Karoro Okurut minister of Gender and Culture

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President of INTO addressing guests during the closing ceremony. Photo by Paul Menya

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Hon Karoro Okurut minister of Gender and Culture addressing the crowd before she closed the 5 day congress. Phot by Paul MENYA

 

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Africa, Cultural Heritage, Culture, Culture in Development, East Africa, Economy

 

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Unlocking Our Diverse Potential

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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Uganda Heritage Awards’ Ceremony

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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Africa, Cultural Heritage, Culture, Culture in Development, East Africa, Economy, Uganda

 

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Karura Forest Experience

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Photos by Paul Menya

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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Youth and Heritage

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Youths engaging Elders. Photo by Paul Menya

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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Learning Journeys

Learning Journeys

Participants from different spheres of the world on day 4, 3rd September had learning journeys. They were divided into 4 groups on different journey experiences. One of them being a visit to Lake Mburo National Park, for Cultural Values and National Parks, An African Kingdom in the 21st Century, People and Stories at the Source the Nile,Traditional Healing, Spiritual and physical Health. Below is some of the activities captured on camera.

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Picking coffee beans from the basket, a tradition in Buganda

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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Africa, Culture, East Africa, Economy