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24 July 2019

Local Solicitor seeking support for Ugandan Project

Swapping The Corridors Of Laganside For The Dusty Streets Of Rural East Africa.

In November 2018, my partner Nicki Clarke and I travelled to Uganda to undertake a year of volunteering. We are working as Volunteer Development Workers with the Justice and Peace Commission (JPC) in Hoima, a small town in Western Uganda.

The local population survive mainly through subsistence farming, with domestic electricity and water connections rare and constant power and water outages for the lucky few who do.

Our main role is to build the institutional capacity of the JPC and provide training in different areas, to include peace building and mediation, finance, child safeguarding and facilitation skills.

The JPC promote human rights and access to justice within vulnerable rural communities and within the 2 refugee settlements in the Hoima district. The settlements are home to international refugees fleeing from war and oppression in the D.R.C and South Sudan, together with those from Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Sudan and internally displaced populations fleeing strife.

Most people in the Hoima region live in abject poverty, are unaware of their basic human rights and often people's rights are being abused by both state and non-state actors.

Furthermore, even within communities who do have knowledge of their rights, many do not know where to turn when their rights are abused. Corruption within the state is endemic and a huge barrier to progress in a country rich in minerals and natural resources.

The JPC attempt to raise awareness of people's rights by various means: through a weekly radio phone in show; Justice and Peace clubs in local schools; community engagement events and training events.

We have a range of other projects we are attempting to initiate to supplement our current work but, as is often the case with projects in Africa, a lack of finances prevents worthy initiatives from getting off the ground.

This year, the JPC seek to launch a pilot mediation service that will provide the access to justice that many local people simply cannot afford, helping to resolve conflicts over land, inheritance issues and family disputes.

Oil has recently been discovered in the region and this has led to many people being evicted from their land without adequate compensation, or in some cases none at all. We also aim to broaden our engagement and impact within the refugee settlements and set up Justice and Peace Committees within the settlements of Kyangwali and Kiryandongo.

We are asking our friends and colleagues back home to help us raise some money to inject into our project.

All donations, however small, will be greatly appreciated and we can guarantee 100% of the funds will be spent on the ground here in Uganda. You can rest assured your money will be not only put to good use, but will also be reaching some of the most vulnerable and impoverished people in the world.

Wabale Mono! (Thanks very much!)

Peter McGettrick and Nicki Clarke



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