‘You talk, we listen. We talk, you listen’: Uganda Hosts National DialogueShare
On 3rd October 2015, Reach A Hand Uganda held the 2015 Intergenerational Dialogue in Kampala, Uganda. The event emphasized the importance of dialogue between generations in order to better young people’s sexual and reproductive health rights in the country. The event, which ended up trending on Twitter not only Uganda but across the region, fell under the theme: “Nurturing and
Strengthening Linkages between the Young and Older Generations to Address the Current Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs in Uganda.”
Many people in this younger generation are facing many vulnerabilities across Eastern and Southern Africa, including some of the highest HIV rates, teenage pregnancy, gender based violence and child marriage. By having the right information and access to adequate health services and care, young people can fight these concerning statistics.
“We must do something, otherwise we are in trouble. If you don’t have the youth surviving, you don’t have a nation,” explains Edson Muhwezi, Assistant Country Representative, UNFPA. “I appreciate Reach a Hand bringing us together to find a solution.”
The event enabled a dialogue between youth, health service providers, parents; guardians; policy makers; UN agencies, including UNFPA and UNESCO; community and opinion leaders as well as the elderly.
“Dialogue means we are talking to each other. You talk, we listen. We talk, you listen,” says Danny Turitwenka, a local blogger. “What we need to do right now is match the old and the new. The elderly have been where we are right now, they can give advice, and we can learn from them. But they can also learn from us about the things that are affecting us right now.”
many tribes in Uganda, it’s very rare to find parents talking to their children about sexuality. Apparently it seems like a parent has no business talking about sex to their offspring. I should have gotten all the information about sexuality and body changes from my father but that didn’t happen,” explains Joel Jemba, a young blogger from Baganda, Uganda.
As a means to address this critical issue, the event which also had a social media platform with the hashtag, #IGDUg15, helped bridge a critical communication gap. It emphasized the crucial role parents, guardians, community leaders and seniors have on a young person’s life. They are key facilitators in providing guidance to young people and improving their access to comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services.
“Seeing the audience at the Intergenerational Dialogue 2015 #IGDUg15 grow both quantitatively and in the quality of discussion from the previous year’s dialogue, was proof that people are invested in the issues that affect young people,” concludes Humphrey Nabimanya, Founder and Team Leader of Reach A Hand Uganda.
“They simply need a platform to start the conversation.”