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Mothers’ Union programme reduces domestic violence

Posted on: February 4, 2016 10:53 AM
Bishop of South Ankole, Nathan Ahimbisibwe, with members of his diocesan Mothers' Union after at their August 2015 conference. The MU's Church and Community mobilisation programme in the diocese has reduced cases of domestic violence.
Photo Credit: Diocese of South Ankole

[ACNS] Cases of domestic violence have reduced after the Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of in South Ankole, Uganda, undertook a programme of awareness raising, marriage counselling and radio talk shows.

The Mothers’ Union in Uganda is gaining momentum, with around 210,000 members throughout the country. It has developed a Church and Communion mobilisation programme, which they have dubbed Eagle, and it is being used throughout the country.

In South Ankole, in the south west of Uganda, an evaluation of the Eagle process was carried out at the end of last year. “We were thrilled to see some great outcomes of the community & church mobilisation work,” a Mothers’ Union spokesperson said.

“Through this process Mothers Union in the diocese has been working on major issues such as raising awareness of domestic abuse. Through conducting marriage counselling sessions in parishes and organising two radio talk shows to address these issues the diocese has seen reduced cases of domestic violence where Eagle has been implemented.

“Alongside this work there has been training available to parents speaking about positive parenting and child development. It is estimated that around 550 women have benefited from this training so far.”

Ida Basalivwa, volunteer Eagle coordinator, added: “Where there is unity, God works. Through Eagle we are changing attitudes – developing positive thinking about ourselves and others and using our eyes to see what we already have around us.

“We really appreciate God so much for the Eagle for opening our eyes to see what we could not see.”

The Mothers’ Union is also teaching and supporting women to come up with initiatives to support their families and those in need in their communities.

“Through the financial literacy and management programme 10 women groups of 500 members in total have, through their own initiative, been able to increase food yield to feed their own households and to generate extra income. They are also encouraged to use some of this provision to help others in need,” the Mothers’ Union said.

“Bible studies played a successful role in helping communities improve and grow their relationships with God. They have also proved a useful tool to guide and encourage good health and sanitation – for example fruit and vegetable growing and the importance of accessing safe water. It has also led to 20 pit latrines being built in homes and churches!”

The work of the Eagle programme with communities in South Ankole is being supported by central funding from the Mothers’ Union; which is seeking donations so that it can continue the work in Uganda and elsewhere.