Karamoja is a region that has had a tradition of cattle rustling - an act that quite often results into loss of lives and livestock. The illiteracy levels remain extremely high; the numerous development interventions have not yielded the desired impact even when the region is blessed with a lot of resources. CSOs in Karamoja like other regions in Uganda, are operating in an environment where financial resources are shrinking due to the shifting donor priorities; CSOs are facing tighter fiscal space and budget cuts where foreign donors are increasingly imposing stringent requirements on CSOs for funding, this thus calls for a demonstrated diversification of funding sources.
As part of our mandate to strengthen linkages, networking, learning and collaboration between different Civil Society Actors (CSAs), UNNGOF partnered with Riamiriam Civil Society Network Karamoja to undertake capacity building trainings in May 2023; with an objective to promote local philanthropy and be able to mobilize resources for development projects in the region.
The trainings enlightened participants on social accountability, gender and human rights, peace building and conflict resolution, and how all these aspects impact community philanthropy. It further triggered participants’ deep reflection on the socio-economic situation of the region over the past years; and yielded honest conversations on the new ways that the local community can play towards creating a better region.
From all the 4 trainings conducted, the value of mindset change was emphasized both in and outside the training rooms.
"We have been used to the needs-based approach and this has perpetuated the relief syndrome. It’s time to adopt the rights-based approach and ensure the citizens are part of the development process of their region"... Mr. Lena Godfrey Lokwang, Center for Conflict Resolution (CECORE), Kaabong District.
“Can we unpack this concept of mindset change? Can we start with those designing programs to appreciate the importance of consulting and respecting the views of the vulnerable people” … Agan Mary Apuun, Napak District Local Government.
"If we do not empower our communities to change their mindset, we will not help ourselves out of poverty. Civil Society needs to play a big role in mobilising citizens to embrace co-existence"... Agnes Achilla, Catholic Relief Services.
“If we want Karamoja to change, then, change will have to start with the leaders; both state and non-state actors at all levels” … Mark Aol Musooka, Caritas Moroto.
A rigorous process towards mindset change therefore becomes very critical in ensuring that communities in Karamoja, not only embrace community philanthropy but also appreciate the value of education, commercial agriculture and co-existence.