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CULTURAL TOURS FOR CONFLICT MITIGATION

This idea is aimed at preventing further conflict, povert and climate change among Bamba and Bakonzo.

Photo of ROGERS NASIIMWA

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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

YVFPHD is to use cultural tours(at villages level) to mitigate, resolve conflict between Bamba and Bakonjo in Kasese district and then help rehabilitate and reconcile the victims of the previous conflicts .This will involve Inter-cultural visits, cultural art performances, meal sharing , exchanging of traditional crop and animal varieties together exchange of peace and reconciliation vows between the leaders .Both the visiting community and the hosting community will be engaged in the organizing these events that’s; the youth volunteers and premiers of both cultures will engaged in mobilizing their members, the local leaders will be involving in cultural events like the traditional dances to be performed at the function ,preparation of the gifts by both the visiting and receiving society. At the meeting places other ceremonies like tree planting by the cultural leaders to act as peace blood pact between the two cultures will be held. At the end of the ceremony there will be sharing of the agricultural gifts between the two groups. A peace task force composed of cultural elders and youth leaders will be chosen who will be trained to become the preachers of peace in their villages ( act as project radios). These will make sure that the gifts given to their cultures are planted (if crops) and not sold (if animals ) but are rather used to developed their families . To keep the friendship the group that receives the gifts gives the same amount of the produces at their first season to the family that gave to them .If it’s an animal an individual who gets an animal takes the first produce of whatever that animal gives birth first to whoever gave it to them. This process is continuous. In case there is any misunderstanding between the two cultures the chosen groups (elders and youth) meet for mediation and mitigation. If it fails then cultural leaders (premiers are called upon) if it fails then kings and chiefs are called up.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

The targeted beneficiaries are the local people confined in the Rwenzori region of Uganda where inter-tribal conflicts are intense most of them raising from the shared cultural institutions' boarders and beliefs. If any new person visits the region, these people are the same in almost everything apart from cultural beliefs and the imaginary geographical boarder lines drawn in their beliefs that causes conflict. Therefore the uneducated locals who lack exposure to diversity are targeted to help unite these communities.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

"Prevention is better than cure". YVFPHD is looking at what has been a curse turning it into a blessing. The Bamba and Bakonjo have fought for a very long time and have gained nothing. This project is turning the losses made during the past fights to tomorow's prosperity ie during the tours, these communities will share agricultural items that will be taken back to be planted and rared to yield more hence prosperity. More so, this blessing in disguise is to bring climate change mitigation ie during these tours, every visiting member will be given a tree to plant and joint tree planting sessions in no man's land will be done. All these will hit three birds with one stone.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Pilot: I have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

YVFPHD is a youth driven organisation whose major aim is to prevent conflict from occurring and resolve those which are already happening through dialogue and other means.

Expertise in sector

  • 1-2 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered social enterprise.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

In 2005, my family migrated to rwenzori region and just after six months a conflict between Bamba and Batwa broke up where our home was burnt loosing everything in it. From then at least every year a conflict happens with the worst being 2016 conflict where i lost my sister ,Mother and one brother. I can not sit and wait for a more worse conflict that will even take me when it happens hence forcing me to open up ICPHD.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Peace in the Rwenzori region is influenced by differences in cultural beliefs and cultural leaders whereby every tribe fights to be autonomous making coexistence of different tribes conflict characterized. Some cultural institutions like Obusinga Bwa Rwenzululu(Bakonzo kingdom) have other minority tribes with in the kingdom which are very sensitive to leadership positions, decisions and geographical demarcations always fighting to be autonomous. Prosperity in Rwenzori region is hindered by the unending conflicts which always cause a huge property destruction and even displaces people whenever it occurs. this has scared away investment in the region which would create jobs for the local population. Planet is hindered by over population in the region, land fragmentation which have increased tree cutting in the region.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We are working with the Uganda security agencies; Uganda police and Uganda people's defense forces. for every event organized during pilot, security was primary even when it would be conducted in schools to guarantee safety in case of any conflict.
Cultural leaders; the cultural leaders in this area are paramount because what they say is what the subjects follow. Seeking permission and endorsement plus partnership agreements are very necessary in such a project because these leaders even guarantee subjects' participation in the project.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

The community has established contact cultural institutions which we shall leverage on to reach and mobilize the local communities and due to escalating conflicts, the cultural leaders are willing to sit and listen to peace developing interventions.

Geographic Focus

Our geographical focus is Rwenzori region in Western Uganda targeting Bakonzo and Bamba communities.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

18 Months.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

15 comments

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Photo of Leah Gage
Team

Hello Rogers,

Thank you for your dedication to bridging these communities and your inspired methods of action. I am so sorry for the loss of your family. I hope your project supports truly building sustainable peace.
As you mention that YVFPHD is a youth driven organisation, I am curious as to how youth may show up in this project. Not being an expert in the cultures you are mentioning, I am curious as to whether the ideas you are proposing are rooted in cultural practices? I am also wondering if community mediation, connection and conversations might be engaged with?
 How are you prepping the communities to engage on this peace project?
I love the ideas you are presenting and the connection with having trees that would be symbols of continuing, growing peace. What do you see of ways to help heal the pain and trauma experienced by these communities?

Thank you again for your work, dedication and perseverance.

Photo of ROGERS NASIIMWA
Team

Thank you Leah. Being a youth organization, the youth are the fore front of the implementation. We have already had cultural activities in the institutions of higher learning in the region one of them being an annual cultural Galla at Mbarara University Of Science And Technology the major university in the entire region and the surrounding areas. Participants from Rwenzori region are singled out and play an important role in the organizing of these cultural tours in their service as champions/volunteers. Mediation activities are already going on by the organization. While the project seeks to extend peace message to locals, their leaders are already enrolled on the mediation program being spearheaded by Our university student members originating from the Rwenzori region. Finally on healing the pain and trauma, we already negotiating with the national patriotism Secretariat to help run a rehabilitation program for the most affected individuals and also patriotism development courses to be implemented in the region.

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