Gov’t urged to strengthen partnership with NGOs to promote child rights
Government has been urged to strengthen its partnership with organizations that work towards protection and promotion of children rights in order to prevent abuses within families and communities.
Several reports have in the past indicated that children are abused in form of defilement and child marriages among others.
However, according Agnes Waeno, the partnership facilitator for Compassion International these challenges can only be dealt with if there are concerted efforts between government and NGOs that are working in communities.
“Government is doing its best but more is needed as we work together to address challenges that children face.The issues of teenage pregnancies and domestic violence among others that affect child and youth development need to be addressed,” Waeno said.
She was speaking during a thanksgiving ceremony for the Tororo- Butaleja partnership cluster in Tororo District.
Waeno noted that Compassion International is currently working with evangelical churches to help the vulnerable families and children.
“Partnership with evangelical churches is very important for us because through this we are able to minister thousands of children and youths. Currently we are partnering with 460 churches in the entire country and supporting 134000 children and youths who are the most vulnerable to provide them child and youth development programs and education.”
“We want to ensure that children are thriving and positively influencing the world.”
However, authorities in Tororo District decried the increased cases of abuses against children calling for the provision of adequate resources and full implementation of the laws to punish the perpetrators
One of the major abuses noted around the Greater Tororo region in activity reports presented by one of the organizations working in the area compassion international indicate that that child marriages are among the major challenges in the region
A district councilor John Odi said that government needs to provide more resources but also ensure that perpetrators are punished.
“One of the challenges we have in government is funding is not normally not enough but these organisations have these resources to tackle the challenges. Another problem is the mindset of the people where communities want to settle issues of child abuse like defilement out of court. Most of the perpetuators are relatives and families find it hard to take legal action on them. We need to do something about this,” Odi said.
“This vice has not been given the hardest vice it deserves and therefore child abuse continues to rage.”
The senior probation officer for Tororo district, Susan Alamac said that they have decided to intensify community outreaches with support from Compassion International and that this has seen many girls rescued.
Susan Apendi, a beneficiary from Compassion International said she joined in 2015 while in her primary two but was struggling.
“Since I joined, my life has changed. They provide for us with sanitary towels, knickers, pay for our school on time,”Apendi said.
She noted that lack of basic needs has contributed to teenage pregnancies as men lure them.
“Like for us in Compassion whose everything is provided, it’s hard to convince me to go with any man,” she said.