'Roco Kwo'-Transforming Lives
As the people of
seek to rebuild their lives after over two decades of war, the Acholi Religious
Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI) has begun to implement a new program in Lamogi
which seeks to empower communities to overcome the challenges they face.
‘Roco Kwo’, Acholi for ‘Transforming
Lives’, is a new multi-year program (2009-2013) funded by NORAD (Norway) with funds channeled
through CARE Uganda which seeks to empower women and increase their community participation
by addressing their human condition, social position, and by fostering an
enabling environment for empowerment.
The launch of the new program
seeks a holistic approach to the addressing the complex needs of the Sub Acholi
Region in the post conflict setting by focusing on creating economic self
reliance, improving safety, and empowering and enabling women to become more
involved in decision making processes at all levels.
The program will focus on 3 main
components including social protection, peacebuilding and livelihoods.
The social protection component will
empower women to access justice and advocate for their rights with particular
emphasis being put on SGBV prevention and response.
In the area of peacebuilding and
conflict resolution, The United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR)
1325 which brings attention to the plight of women in conflict settings and
seeks to have women involvement in peacebuilding at all levels of society will
inform the activities undertaken. Additionally, it will utilize and promote UNSCR
1820 which places specific emphasis on the prevention of sexual violence n
conflict and post conflict settings.
The program also desires to
improve and sustain economic livelihoods through training and support to Village Savings and Loans (VSLA)
groups with the hopes or realizing increased agricultural productivity of
conflict affected households both for the purpose of consumption and the
selling of excess for income.
To address these components, activities such as the formation of VSLA groups, provision of oxen and ox ploughs, provision of improved seeds, provision of market information for agricultural outputs trainings, community sensitizations, advocacy programs, and the establishment of community support centres for SGBV survivors, among others.
While the project is geared
towards the empowerment of women, it also recognizes the importance of male
participation and seeks their involvement to ensure harmonious coexistence and greater gender balance in decision making.
ARLPI will implement the program
in the Amuru sub-county
of Lamogi, while other
partners have been mandated to carry out ‘Roco Kwo’ in other areas of Gulu,
Amuru, Kitgum, and Pader.
Images from the November 2010 Women's Peace Rally promoting women's leadership.