Roco Kwo

'Roco Kwo'-Transforming Lives

As the people of northern Uganda 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.

Components

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.

Activities

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.

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