CPAR Uganda in partnership with Lira University and the University of East Anglia, UK, today, Saturday, 17th April 2021, launched a research and advocacy project with the theme: “Challenging Categories: Educated Unemployed Youth as Institutional Innovators in Rural Uganda”. The project will cover the two regions of Lango and Teso.
It aims to find the cohort of educated young women in the Lango region with a particular focus on the gendered politics of courts and land disputes. It is also to explore the ways young women and men bring their educated identities to play in the politics and management of churches, a key development actor in the fields of health and education, among others.
Nine young innovators from the two regions have been selected to participate in the research with stewardship from the three project leaders including: Dr. Ben Jones of the University of East Anglia, Dr. Laury Ocen of Lira University, and Ms. Norah Owaraga, the Managing Director of CPAR Uganda.
Dr. Laury Ocen, is the project Co-Investigator
Dr. Laury Ocen, the head of department of professional studies at Lira University appealed for support to help them complete the research to shape the future of the young people.
“From time to time we shall need your support. We shall need your support in a number of things. A research like this sometimes becomes very challenging if you don’t get cooperation from the community. But I know with you around we are not going to go wrong. And I think this is just the beginning. Lira University specifically will be more than ready to undertake additional intervention.”Dr. Laury Ocen
Mr. Rama Omonya giving a speech during the formal launch ceremony. He has been invited to be a member of the project’s policy working group.
Mr. Rama Omonya, a policy advocate says many young people are always left stranded after completing university, because they don’t want to get up and do things for themselves.
Professor Okaka Opio giving a speech during the formal project launch ceremony.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor Lira University, Professor Okaka Opio expressed excitement about the project which he said will help adress many of the challenges young people are facing.
“As Lira University, of course, we are very excited for very obvious reasons, because when you are talking about research, you are talking about one of the three mandates of a university – knowledge production, knowledge dissemination; part of that takes teaching and the other is research. Research is meaningless without dissemination; research is meaningless if it has not produced products that can be incubated and scaled up. Also if it has not impacted on policy.”Professor Okaka Opio
Ms. Betty Akullo giving a speech during the project formal launch ceremony. She has been invited to be a member of the project policy working group.
Ms. Betty Akullo, a gender activist is happy that the team will not only do the research but also influence people in the society; and called for more focus on ladies so that their issues are addressed.
“Am happy that women are there. Most times women are not recognised and am happy that the team is going to build the capacities of both boys and girls to do this study, but also to influence situations in their community. I also want to speak about the concept of work. Many times when we work, they see people going to offices, but there is other work that is not recognised. And sometimes this work is mainly done by women.”Ms. Betty Akullo
Dr. Ben Jones is the Project Principal Investigator.
Dr Ben Jones of the University of East Anglia, says their main focus will be to identify and recognize the work the youths are already doing.
“All I wanted to say briefly was, where does the inspiration for this project come from? What is the inspiration? What is the research going to be doing? What we are interested in here is that across eastern and northern Uganda you have many, many people who are youth. Employment is very difficult to come across and to find.”Dr. Ben Jones
Mr. Alex Bwangamoi Okello is a Member of the Board of Directors of CPAR Uganda and he Chairs the CPAR Finance Committee. He was the guest of honour at the project formal launch ceremony.
The Permanent Secretary of the Directorate of Ethics and Integrity, Alex Bwangamoi Okello, urged people to use the knowledge they have, with the little resources and do something that will change their lives.
“Whatever you have, this God that we serve has given us different skills. Education is only for you to explore and discover the skills that God has given you.”Mr. Alex B. Okello
Ms. Winnie Auma, a journalist attached to Radio Wa attended the project formal launch ceremony of our Challenging Categories project that was held at our Lira Learning Centre on Saturday, 17th April 2021 and she filed this report; versions of which were first aired on Radio Wa.
Photos Credit: All photos featured in this post were taken by Emmanuel Owaraga, who is part of the team of Mr. Philip Luswata, the project Media Consultant.