CARE Uganda Newsletter – The Paper Crane Issue 4 May 2019
The Country Director’s Journal
I was able to travel quite a bit during this period and to spend time with my CARE colleagues, partners and our beneficiaries, visiting our Pepsi grant, STRENPO in both Kyenjojo and West Nile, our emergency work in Kyangwali and visiting GAC, NMFA and WAY projects in West Nile, including going to districts I had not yet been able to visit. I have been impressed by the excellent relations of our teams with District Local Governments and Sub County authorities and deliberate efforts to ensure that our work integrates in their District Development Plans. It is still challenging to have the refugee response integrated into District Planning but thanks to the new Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), more emphasis is put on that integration at the national level so I hope we’ll see a change as the Government embarks on its new planning cycle and as the new NDPIII is also being developed. As CARE and with our dual humanitarian and development mandate, it really struck me during these visits and conversations with District CAOs, RWCs, DHOs that we are well positioned to help bring these two “worlds” of refugee response under the Office of the Prime Minister and long term development under District Governments closer together. This is a concrete way that we can contribute to the nexus. I have seen evidence of how the GAC, Pepsi, STRENPO and WAY projects already do that and that was very encouraging and a good example for other actors. During these visits, we have conversations on these high level strategic and planning issues and immediately before or just after we have the privilege to spend time with women, men and children from refugees and Ugandan communities we serve. I must say that I continue to find the disconnect between these two worlds quite striking… Despite sub counties, parish and village authorities having a certain proximity to communities we serve, the power differences, though reducing, remain significant. Therefore our efforts to give a voice to the most marginalized people remain so critically important! The stories we are presenting in this issue of the Paper Crane are very much about giving a voice to the voiceless, putting women and adolescent girls at the center of the Dialogue, from the “little women” of Kyangwali, the Bonga Girls, the women using digital e-wallets in Bushenyi, the “Impact mulitplyers of L4C, and many more… Not forgetting the Men Champions and how their voices contribute to reducing these power and gender gaps. The CARE Uganda team is doing an amazing job! Keep it up colleagues and I look forward to more time with you and our program participants in the next months. You are AMAZING!