JOY FOR CHILDREN UGANDA
REPORT FOR THE REVIEW OF THE ACTION PLAN TO END CHILD MARRIAGES IN BUTALEJA DISTRICT HELD ON 8TH JUNE 2016
AT BUTALEJA DISTRICT HEADQUATERS
THE REVIEW OF THE ACTION PLAN TO END CHILD MARRIAGE
Uganda is one of the African countries with high rates of child marriages/child brides. It holds the eleventh position in Africa with 46% of girls below the age of 18 years forced or and lured into marriages. According to UNFPA, the prevalence of child marriages is highest in the Northern region at 59%, followed by Western region at 58%, Eastern Uganda at 52% with Kampala having the lowest rate at 21%.
Butaleja district is one of the top 5 districts in Uganda with the highest rates of child marriages/brides in the Eastern region at 46%. Most of these girls drop out of school due reasons like poverty, poor performance in class, among others and get married at an early age. (UNFPA 2013)
Early marriages and the resultant pregnancies are the biggest causes of deaths in 15-19year old girls accounting to 20% of maternal deaths in Uganda. Those who survive pregnancies suffer lasting complications like fistula and disability (UNICEF-2014). Ending child marriages in Africa especially Uganda requires the efforts and commitments of every stake holder, including parliamentarians, district leaders, religious leaders, academia, private sector, etc.
It’s due to this brief background that in 2015, Joy for Children Uganda in partnership with Butaleja district local government convened stake holders meeting in the district to develop an action plan to address issues of child marriages and teenage pregnancies in Butaleja district. As a follow up on the action plan and its implementation, another meeting was held on 8th June at Butaleja district headquarters to harmonize the entire process.
Objectives of the Meeting
- To present the draft action plan to the new leadership (District executive committee) to have their inputs and prioritize its implementation.
- To Review the action plan and adopt it for implementation.
The District Chairperson Mr. Waya Richard welcomed all the participants and thanked them for honoring the invitations to attend the meeting.
He highlighted on the purpose of the meeting and requested participants to actively input or subtract anything necessary in the action plan.
He requested Universal Health Development Foundation with always invite media during such important meetings such the rest of the world gets to know what is to going on and learn from others.
He informed the participants that he feels sad whenever Butaleja is named among the top District with high rates to child marriages, teenage pregnancies, maternal deaths, school drop outs all most all sectors.
He thanked JFCU for implementing activities that contribute to development and well-being of people in Butaleja District.
He urged participants to always welcome partners wherever they come to implement work in the District.
The draft action plan was presented, inputs and changes were made by participants and a final action plan was development. Some of the suggested action activities include;
- Prosecution of perpetrators
- Conducting radio Programmes
- Conducting school outreaches in the district to openly talk about child Marriage and its consequences
- Capacity Building for TOTs at S/C and school level
- Conducting community dialogues on child marriage issue.
- Conducting community dialogues on child marriage issue. this will be done on market days, prayers days and community Barazas
- Making child marriage a discussion point on every district and sub county levels meetings and Monday Police parades and
- Follow up on child Marriage cases, Review Meetings about the progress of the project.
Keys Points to Note
- The District Chairperson Mr. Waya Richard advised the partners to always be flexible while implementing activities in the District.
- The District planner requested the partners to always follow proper systems when they need to get information from the District.
- The District Chairperson requested the partners to always disclose their work plans and budgets to avoid duplication of work.
- That for a partners to be recognized by the District they must be implementing suitable continuous projects and programs on grass roots.
- There should be review meetings for the implementation of this action plan on a quarterly basis to see the progress the project.