This year has not been shy of challenges, twists and turns and a whole lot of disappointments. But again, the stories of change we’ve heard, seen and read about tell of a transformation happening through ours and our partners’ commitment to fight poverty. As we wind up, we take time to celebrate the great milestones reached in realising a world free from poverty. Here’s our round up of activities that have contributed to our mission this year.
Earlier this year we learned that people in one of our program implementation areas in Karamoja region were starving to death. This was stifling attendance to some of our programs meant to equip them with skills to sustain themselves. We had to do something!
Our staff with a few external volunteers got together and initiated the Hope4Karamoja campaign. The campaigned aimed at providing food items to at least 1000 families over a period of three weeks. At the start of the campaign it had been food packages had been budgeted for at UGX 25,000 to give a family, 5 kilograms of Beans and 5 kilograms of Maize flour. However, with the advice of the partner on ground we changed to the distribution to 10 kilograms of Maize flour and 5 kilograms of Beans. We managed to raise UGX 13,535,470 which was used to purchase food items for 250 families.
We managed to raise UGX13,535,470 which was used to purchase food items for 250 families.
We thank the organizations, individuals including staff of Strømme Foundation and corporate companies that joined us to meet this need. Special thanks to students in the Watoto Ministries’ schools that also donated money for food and other items to help their brothers and sisters in Karamoja. We were deeply moved by your kind and selfless gesture.
Challenging Times in South Sudan.
South Sudan continues to be one of the challenging countries that we are working in. Despite this, SF will not stop implementing our poverty eradication programs among the vulnerable people of South Sudan. This year was particularly challenging as instability put a pause on most of our work in Terekeka, Kajo Keji, Yei and various places due to lack of access to the areas of implementation. People were being ambushed on the roads, attacked in their homes which led some of our partners to relocate or pause their activities.
To ensure safety of our staff, we’ve had to focus our work in relatively safe and easy to access locations, but also went to the difficult to access locations whenever we had a chance of doing so. Sometimes we joined heavily armed escorts of the country commissions to get to a desired location, sometimes relying on flights as opposed to road transport and not risking travelling on insecure routes.
Now, peace building is mainstreamed in in our programs Bonga and CMMF training curricula where participants are trained in conflict resolutions and peace building. Bonga girls perform community theatres on issues of peace in the community. We hope that in the long run this will bring about attitude change and unity among community members to contribute to peace in the country.
With the relocation of some of our target groups to peri-urban areas and/or rural areas that are farther from conflict affected and insecure locations, we foresee some relative stability in the implementation of our programs in South Sudan. Some target groups have moved from Yei and Kajo Keji to the vicinity of Juba, while others have gone to Uganda in the refugee camps; where we have started a cross border program. On the other hand, we have used access through Uganda to reach difficult to access locations like Liwolo in Kajo Keji; where about 30,000 internally displaced persons are temporarily settled.
The refugee camps in Moyo host most of our program participants that were living in Kajo Keji. In August this year we started implementing the programs that many were already familiar with and a part of before they flee the war.
The refugee camps in Moyo host most of our program participants that were living in Kajo Keji. In August this year we started implementing the programs that many were already familiar with and a part of before they flee the war. The youth are being trained in Vocational Skills that are practical within their communities, the girls are part of the Bonga girls’ empowerment program and our economic empowerment program; Community Managed Microfinance continues to be mainstreamed across all categories.
We have also incorporated Trauma counselling to help people cope with the pains of loss and and gradually learn to move on with life. We hope and pray that peace shall prevail in our region.
The Anti-Corruption Action Research Study Report Briefing
2017 has been extremely challenging with an increase in corruption cases reported among our partner organisations.
Strømme Foundation received funds from NORAD to strengthen our anti- corruption work in East African region. We commissioned an Action Research Study among partners in Tanzania and Uganda and release a report sharing findings of the study.
The action research sought to understand corruption issues at the local community level and come up with an action plan on what can be done to fight corruption through SF supported programmes by raising awareness and encouraging/ facilitating individuals and groups to prevent and take action against corruption in their communities.
At the briefing we hosted several organisation representatives and together further discussed how we can put an end to this vice that is stifling our efforts towards a world free from poverty. You can access the full report here.
Visit by our Secretary General
Our new SF Global Secretary General, Mrs. Tina Sødal visited our region for the first time in her capacity. We were thrilled to have her share with us her heart and vision for the organisation at such a time when we are making plans for our new strategic plan.
One of the highlights from her sharing was a reminder that SF’s work should model Jesus Christ to the forgotten people and poor communities. “We are here to reach people the way that Jesus would reach them, she said.” With so much inequality in the world today, so many people suffering, it is such an opportunity for us to be a part of the solution. She later had field trips to our partners CBS PEWOSA and WENIPS.
We look forward to the next period under Tina’s leadership and have no doubt that together with all your support, we are going to reach more hurting communities and bring healing and sustainable development to our region.
The Annual Partners Workshop
We gathered together with partner staff from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and South Sudan in a 4 days meeting that ran from 6 through 10 November 2017. As we go into the final year of implementing our current strategic plan, it is important that both partners and the communities we work are prepared winding up the programs.
Among topics handled were the exit strategy, local resource mobilisation and writing good stories. We also got partner input into our new and developing strategic plan that will be launched in 2019. It was a great time of sharing knowledge and lessons with the partners. We greatly appreciate all our partners for their hard work, dedication and commitment towards accomplishing our strategic plan.
We specifically recognise partners CBS PEWOSA and SEMA who scooped awards for their exemplary Financial Management. Not forgetting COVOID and WENIPS who were also awarded for their exemplary Program Implementation.