Advance Afrika and PICOT train Para-social workers from Arua and Koboko.

Advance afrika and PICOT conducted a 2day residential training (11th -12th Sep) for 50 para-social workers from Arua and Koboko district at Heritage Courts Hotel.

The training was to enhance the capacity of the para-socials to effectively perform their roles in supporting their communities to address the Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) challenges that women, Men and children face as well as support reintegration processes of vulnerable ex-prison inmates. Training sessions was provided by Advance Afrika, PICOT, Uganda Prisons Service (UPS) as well as practitioners and experts from the field for specific sessions (e.g. counselling and PTSD).

Advance Afrika and PICOT in partnership with Uganda Prisons Service (UPS) with Funding from European Union is implementing a 30 Months project “Empowering local communities to prevent violence against women and children in West Nile”.

The overall objective of the Project is to empower women and children in Koboko and Arua districts to live peaceful and dignified lives as they enjoy their economic, social and cultural rights.

The intervention seeks to achieve two overall outcomes;

Oc1) Female (ex) inmates have access to improved and impactful rehabilitation and reintegration services.

Oc2) Community structures actively engage in changing attitudes, perceptions and practices regarding respect for women’s and children’s rights.

The training focused on introduction to the conflict transformation and the reintegration of ex-inmates with regards to counseling of victims as well as possible legal redress and protection mechanisms with regard to SGBV cases.

With the help of DCDO’s office the para-social workers were selected from the whole district but sub-counties where most female inmates come from and which show a high prevalence of SGBV were given a priority with gender consideration.

The selection of the Para-social workers was also strongly based on the self-drive and interest of the individuals (as their engagement will be largely voluntary). Major focus was on para-socials who were already volunteering in the communities since they were established.

The trained para-socials will consequently be involved in the reintegration of at least 100 prison inmates, including but not limited to the Pre-and Post-release visits as well as participating in community dialogues