Practicum Statement-Term 1
Term 1 Practicum statement. By Martha Iriama
This page shows the preliminary practicum statement of my community, its description, central issue, UTOC, the problem, opportunity, approach, short and long term outcomes and strategic components.
Community Name: Kambisi.
Student Name: Martha Iriama.
Kambisi Community is found in Moroto Municipality, Moroto district, Karamoja. It is one of the slums in Moroto town. Kambisi community has neighborhood of institutions like, Cooperation and Development (C&D), an Italian organization. It is neighbored by Kasimeri primary school, army detach, the Airtel communication booster, mount Moroto. They also have a small community woodlot, which was started by them with support from Welt Hunger Hilfe, a German NGO in Moroto. Kambisi Community has influence of the catholic diocese-church, where, community members go to pray in Regina Mundi church parish every morning, evening and on Sundays. A few of them go to pray in the mosque, not far away from the community.
Kambisi community in Karamoja has a social structure that is comprised of clans system which feed into the village and family system. The clan structure comprise of; the Mountains (Ngimor), the Gazelles, (Ngigetei), the Rats (Ngidooi). The mountains are the policy makers for the entire community and region. The gazelles, who are the children of the mountains, are policy implementers, while the rats, children to the gazelles follow directives from their fathers, the gazelles. In this community, power lies with the mountains and any decisions from them, eg decision to migrate to water and pasture areas, is respected and followed. Village/community elders also have the power to decide in instances of homestead relocation, depending on their wish. For one to rise to the level of mountains, one has to be initiated through a traditional ceremony, where a bull is slaughtered for elders, community members and neighbors to feast on.
Practicum central issue.
Inadequate participation of women in planning and decision making in community development specifically health and education of children. The problem exists because this is a male dominated society, where often a times women’s views and opinions are seen as inferior to that of men. Most decisions taken by men are considered superior to those of women. This attitude of looking at women’s views has attributed to low self esteem among women and has affected their potential to actively participate in planning and taking decisions, thus affecting their lives, children’s education and community development. During the planning meetings, most women are taken up with other tasks such as casual labor work in Moroto town and stone quarrying. Other issues such as; hunger, low income, low literacy level, informal employment and unemployment, also affect their active participation and decision making in community development.
Underlying Theory of Change (UTOC).
Kambisi community lives in Moroto municipality, Moroto town. They are said to have come from Ethiopia via Turkana, Kenya. This community is urban poor, whose main culture is cattle rearing and cereal crop growing (sorghum). Due to climate change effects and cattle theft, most of them shifted to town and adapted livelihoods such as; stone and /or soil quarrying, casual labor work for survival. They have formal leadership structure- political and administrative. Political leadership structure comprises of the LC1 and LC 3. Administrative structure is comprised of, parish chief and Sub county chief. Village structures feed to District and National structures. This community from time to time, work with partners; government, the NGOs experts and community elders on some interventions like; community forests, waste management, education and health. However, the women’s participation is not adequate. Other issues besides inadequate participation of women include; hunger, inadequate income, low literacy level, informal and unemployment, HIV/AIDS, poor sanitation. The questions behind inadequate participation and decision making should be explored with possible answers; why is there inadequate participation and decision making for women? How can we improve women participation and decision making? What makes women participate and take decisions? What community priorities exist for women to participate and take decisions?
Problem: Inadequate participation of women in planning and decision making in community development, especially in the area of health and education is the key problem. The problem exists because this is a male dominated society. Often times, women’s views and opinions are seen as inferior to that of men, most decisions are taken by men, thus attributing to low self esteem among women. If the problem is not addressed, the issues affecting women in health and education of children will always persist.
Opportunity: National Development Plan, District Development Plans, starting at village level planning, parish plans and sub county plans exist. The presence of partners-government, community leaders (elders), NGOs working in the area of health and education is another opportunity that should be tapped to increase women’s participation and decision making in development projects.
Approach: The main approach will be sensitization and training of women and the community members on the laws and policies that empower them to participate, plan and take decisions. The desired change is needed because of the need to improve health status of women in relation to HIV/AIDS and improve literacy levels in Kambisi community.
Short term outcomes:
More women participated in village, parish, Sub County and district plans and their capacity built for meaningful community development.
Long term outcomes: Improved women’s health status in relation to HIV/AIDS and education of children for future employment.
Where I am now:
Currently, the community of Kambisi is faced with the problem of inadequate participation of women in planning and decision making in community development, especially in the health and education of children. Several factors have caused this situation, these include; male domination as a result of culture that looks at women’s contribution to participation, planning and decision making as minor and less important. Male dominated societies like this one often see women’s views and opinions as inferior to that of men. Most decisions taken by men are considered superior to those of women. This attitude of looking at women’s views has attributed to low self esteem among women and has affected their potential to actively participate in planning and taking decisions thus affecting their lives, children’s education and community development. Besides that, factors like; hunger, limited income, low literacy levels, informal employment, un employment, disease like HIV/AIDS and poor sanitation have also contributed to the problem. Women have also been taken up with other tasks such as casual labor work in Moroto town and stone quarrying.
Where I want to be at the end of the practicum
In one and half years from now, I would like to see more women discussing and engaging during Community, Village, Parish, Sub County, District and National planning meetings. I would like to see them challenge duty bearers to take action on issues affecting them and the entire community. I would also like to see confidence among women on their opinions and views in health and education programs. Women should be able to mitigate the spread of HIV/AIDS, should willingly disclose their HIV/AIDS status, test for HIV/AIDS and take treatment without being stigmatized. A number of children should be enrolled and retained in school improved. In the long term, I would like to see improved health status among women living with HIV/AIDS and improved literacy and numeracy among community members, children and adults, thus facilitating formal employment in the community.
How I propose to get from where I am to where I want to be.
I propose to undertake preliminary activities such as; participatory stakeholders’ involvement and consultations, where, relevant stakeholders in the community will be consulted on the issues affecting them. Community members, elders, NGO representatives, women groups, youth, government representatives will be involved. Their commitment, willingness and time will also be ensured in the process. Various meetings will be conducted to discuss the issues affecting the community, consensus on community vision, priorities and operation procedures with emphasis to long term goals will be reached. After completing preliminary activities, an action plan with specific objectives to achieve the desired goal will be developed and implemented. For instance, the plan will include the following activities (process):
- Sensitize the community on the importance of women’s participation in planning and decision making.
- Create awareness on laws and policies that enable women know their rights and responsibilities in community development.
- Create awareness on the planning cycle that starts from village, parish, Sub County, District and National levels.
- Train women on the laws and policies that empower and improve their participation, planning and decision making. The following will be used in the trainings. i) The 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda. ii) Decentralization Policy. iii) The Local Government Act 1997.
- Conduct midterm reviews.
- Monitor and evaluate the progress and outcomes of the training.
- Document, report the success, challenges and lessons learnt from the project.