OUR Strategic areas of focus"Building Capacities of Women for Change"
The Uganda Orthodox Church Mothers’ Union operates its mandate based on specified areas of concern as it strives to build Capacities of women for change. The strategic areas of concern include;
Peace building and conflict resolution
Under this direction, the Union addresses different identified pertinent issues concerning peaceful co-existence among community members and among these include; increased Gender Based Violence (GBV) and other human rights abuses especially in areas and families of the Unions operation, less involvement of men in community sensitization on GBV and other human rights abuses of women, less program linkages with peace intervention among others, which deprive Women from their social – economic development and transformation of their well being. These violations are mechanisms that dis-empower Women from enjoying their full potential to political, economic and social rights.
Therefore, the Union aims at conducting Dialogue and Sensitization meetings on the fight against GBV, carry out counseling sessions, Pastoral visits, increasing peace networks at Local and International levels by carrying out lobbying and Advocacy forums with different take holders, improving on documentation and translation of some training documents into local languages among others.
Functional Adult Literacy programme
This programme is delivered by the Uganda Orthodox Church Mothers’ Union with assistance by the Kerk Balans in Netherlands and Bread for the World (BftW) based in Germany was designed to link literacy to people’s livelihoods and needs. The programme incorporates a great deal of skill-specific training, in addition to literacy and numeracy, and attempts to link the two to show learners how literacy is important and can be used for personal development in their everyday lives.
The target group for the programme is anyone over the age of fifteen, who had missed the opportunity of formal education during childhood in the selected communities. A large range of people are targeted, including men and women, older people and youths, and specific groups of marginalized people such as People Living HIV and with disabilities.
A significant aspect of the programme is the availability of skills in handling issue that affect them on a daily basis and to support the development and continuation of income generating activities after graduation from the literacy programme.
This program is being implemented in the forty four communities of the Unions’ area of operation. The Union developed a training manual which is guiding the trainers in conducting lessons at community level. The communities have also been able to draw their own calendar that matches with their daily seasons.
Trainings are done three times a week for two and a half hours every meeting. Most members have preferred to have their lessons after lunch after they have prepared food for the Children and done some gardening as a daily routine. The starting time depends on how the community has agreed.
The Mothers’ Union being an arm of the Orthodox Church, it is mandated to uphold values of Christianity relevant in creating stable families through promoting and supporting Christian married life as well as informing parents about and helping them practice their roles as parents including developing the faith of their children.
This is realized through giving Parental guidance to parents through the Church women or families participating in Church programs, Seminars and counselling, involving spiritual leaders at the different Churches in preaching and educating of the mothers and families in general on the required practices as per the norms of the One Holy Apostolic and Catholic Church.
Spiritual enhancement has posed a commendable impact in the stability of families of our member communities hence its an area of focus that is continuously closely monitored
Food and Income security
Food is a major source of livelihood among the communities that the Union operates with. The Union therefore has embarked on building capacities of women through the already formed Common Interest Groups (CIGs) by training them , equip them with Practical essential skills and knowledge required as well as farm inputs as requested. Community members are also encouraged to focus on producing high value crops with ready markets.
Village saving and Loans Association (VSLAs)
Emphasis has also been put on the establishment of village and savings schemes where Savings and credit facilities have been established in the selected communities to enable UOCMU members and the surrounding communities to kick start small businesses, rebuild their homesteads which they have not been able to do adequately.
The Village Savings and Loans program in UOCMU is implemented in rural communities across all the Unions’ areas of implementation. Community members are predominantly engaged in farming or animal breeding depending on the region. With little access to formal financial institutions, these small farmers do not have the opportunity to invest in agricultural inputs like fertilizer that could increase their income.
Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) are thought to play a critical role in bringing financial services closer to the community members who do not have access to banks and other financial institutions.
These savings and credit facilities have been established in the selected communities to enable UOCMU members and the surrounding communities to kick start small businesses, rebuild their homesteads which they have not been able to do adequately.
Institutional strengthening and capacity building
The institutional capacity strengthening of UOCMU is focused in the designed four levels on the structure: National Executive Committees, staffs, Women Parish Councils, and Community Resource Persons and the community Women. In enhancing the capacity of the Union, development programmes and strategies have been put in place to transform the lives of Women at the different levels through skills trainings hence resulting into initiation and implementation of gainful projects and helping Women know their rights and be willing to defend them.
The National Executive Committee is oriented on the union’s development approaches and leadership trainings offered to effectively carryout oversight and management roles. Staff capacity is also built to deliver technical services and guide the Women Parish Councils and communities on some fundraising drives and initiatives done at community level.y.