One of the participants making his submission
Given the African culture, child upbringing is the community’s resposibility. Joy for Children Uganda conducts community dialogues in initiative to Delay Marriage and Promote Schooling for Gilrls and boys.
Dialogues comprise 20-40 community members held at lower community levels and local governments. During the dialogues, participants are given a platform to discuss the drivers of child marriage in their communities and the interventions they think will or can work to end the vice. We also discuss the impact child marriage had on the girls, family and community at large.
The participants targeted for community dialogues include but not limited to; Local Council (LC) 1 chairpersons, members of Child Protection Committee (CPC), Village Health Teams (VHTs), Para Social Workers (PSW), Family and Protection Officer, Teachers, Health Workers, Church and Opinion Leaders, Police Officers, students and community members
The objective of community dialogues is to create a platform where communities directly participate in identifying the problems they face and also be part of the solution. The dialogues also enable the community to access information and openly discuss a wide range of issues affecting girls in their community, and develop solutions to the problems discussed. The outcome of these dialogues empower communities with more knowledge and skills necessary in decision and problem solving processes to benefit not only the girls but also the boys.
Through continued engagement of the communities through dialogues, the following strategies have been embraced as means of strengthening the campaign to end child marriage in Uganda:
The local leaders take lead in using different platforms like burials, parties and leaders’ meetings to sensitise masses on early marriage.
Local leaders make plans for village meetings to sensitize parents and children about the impact of child marriage and what they can do to prevent them.
Religious leaders are tasked to integrate matters of delaying marriage and promoting schooling for girls and boys in their sermons since churches are soft grounds for passing on information.
Parents are tasked to be friendly to their adolescent girls so as to encourage them freely share the challenges they face daily.
Every member of the community is tasked be responsible enough to always identify a problem, give the necessary advice, guide, and report, refer and follow up cases at police stations as one of the effective ways to end child marriages and teenage pregnancies.
One of the groups engage in a discussion