Every single mission has a commencement and a close. It is only a vital and prudent necessity that one seals off what was started. Some simply work and off they run, but at ACFODE will believe in the power of continuity and seeing communities we have worked with grow and grow and grow.
During a half day exit meeting in Apac District on the project; Strengthening Institutions (Formal & Informal) to promote Gender Responsive Social Cultures in Apac and Dokolo Districts; implementers and beneficiaries of the latter, brain stormed on the strategies of how the project’s outcomes would be sustained.
The meeting took place on the 20th December, 2017 at A1 hotel – Apac District. In attendance were 42 project beneficiaries and community development officers of the six sub-counties of Akokoro, Ibuje, Apac and Chegere in Apac District; Bata and Kangai in Dokolo District. 26 of these were female and 16 were male.
“It is important for project implementers and project beneficiaries to conduct such closure meetings as well as discuss possible and brain storm on the strategies on how the project outcomes and activities will be sustained without the donor funds,” said Mr. Ogwang Frank, the CDO of Chegere sub-county, Apac district.
During the interface, participants shared their experiences and the challenges faced when conducting project activities. Among others, community monitors and activists, mentioned that the community shunned them sometimes because they lacked proper identification. Secondly, was the challenge of poor turn up of men in the sensitization meetings. This was mainly because most men spend their time chatting away on the locally brewed alcohol ‘Marwa’ at the drinking place.
Participants shared that these problems had been solved along the way by first, engaging local council 1s in the sensitization meetings and secondly by meeting the men from their drinking places. This way, the project thrived on and changed people’s lives.
By closure of the project at least 25girls that had dropout of school were supported and went back to school to continue with their studies. This was done through guidance and counseling of their parents. 34 women reclaimed their land that was grabbed by their in-laws through mediation and they are now cultivating it to sustain their families. There is increased level of the implementation of the Domestic violence act through increased engagement of the local council leadership in solving case of violence against women. This is as a result of awareness created by the project.
During the same engagement, both men and women, in their respective categories as community monitors and activists, together with the Community Development officers from both districts, made commitments to continue conducting sensitization activities to create awareness on the Domestic Violence Act 2010 and monitor its implementation in their communities.
“We shall continue working even without ACFODE support since ACFODE has already given us copies of the Domestic Violence Act (2010) that shall be used as a weapon to eliminate domestic violence,” committed Lilly Omara, a community monitor from Chegere sub-county.
The Community Development officers also made commitment to register Community monitors and activists in their sub-counties as GBV activists’ groups so that they become known and recognized structures in their various sub-counties.
Just before closure of the meeting, participants shared some of the government programmes that are available in their communities. These included; NUSAF III, Youth livelihood programme, Operation wealth creation and women Entrepreneurship programme. All this programmes are geared toward eliminating poverty and improving the standard of living of the people in the community. Therefore, people can benefit from these programmes through forming organized groups and register the group at the sub-county head quarters
ACFODE emphasized to the participants that the essence of making them share available government programmes was to make them know such programmes and how they can benefit.
Compiled by Moses Otwang
Field officer – Apac district