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RWENDAMA WOMEN’S GROUP APPRECIATES ELIZABETH KATUSHABE of PENHA UGANDA

On the 8th of July 2017, Rwendama Women’s group held a celebration to thank Elizabeth and two other people, Isaac Kabandize (the former Kanyaryeru Sub County Local Council 3 chairman (2004 – 2011) and Bright Nuwamanya the sub county chief. We were served a very delicious meal and thereafter there were introductions and speeches from the members and then invited guests.

Joy Rwengabo – Chairperson welcomed everyone, welcomed especially the invited guests. Thanked Elizabeth on behalf of the 21 members of the group for the support she has been providing them for the many years since they started working together. She thanked the former LC 3 chairman for the good leadership and encouragement to the women groups.

She explained that the group had received six goats from PENHA when they were still in the original group. Then in 2015, PENHA gave Rwendama four goats which was “a very big boost to the then newly formed group!!” After the goats had multiplied, they were sold and they started buying bulls. Today they have 21 bulls. She explained further that “due to our good performance, we have been given two certificates of Merit from the local government. The sub county, has also given us a grant from the community development fund of Uganda Shillings 2.5 million” - this is (about USD 700).

The vice chairperson, Annet Rwoojo, thanked the members, for keeping the fire of the group burning. She thanked Elizabeth for loving them so much by bringing to the group the support. She explained that their bulls are kept by individual members who have access to land.

She added that in addition to bull fattening, they do handcrafts (emigamba- milk pots, milk gourds, their woven covers and other items – that are given by parents to a daughter during the traditional send- off ceremony called okuhingira.

Other speakers included, the Treasurer, the secretary and the two advisors, Phiona Namumpa (Akaku Parish Councilor and Vice chairperson of Kanyaryeru Sub County) Bright, the sub county chief and Isaac, the former LC 3 chairman and Mr. John Muyambi (Elizabeth’s father), who all kept showering Elizabeth with praises for always having the community at heart and for being nationalist, for the love and support to the women group and also thanked the group for their hard work.

Elizabeth Katushabe PENHA Uganda thanked the women for being so kind and considerate that they could plan such a ceremony to express their appreciation. She reminded them that the work that she has been doing all these years and all the support that she gave the group in form of (trainings, seminars, donations – goats, scholastic materials etc.) were all being done under the name of PENHA Uganda.

She thanked her parents for accepting to come and share the honour of being appreciated for the good works! She thanked the women for being very hard working. She was very happy that PENHA Uganda started working with them when they were a small group and today they had expanded into two big groups.

Briefed them about the other activities that are going on e.g. work with Natural Livestock Farming (NLF) project with SNV aimed at the use of medicinal plants as alternative remedies for tick control. She explained that there is a gender perspective where she intends to work with women and the youth to develop gardens for medicinal plants which would be an income generating activity in the long term. She wished them continued success and pledged to keep working with them in developing projects that can benefit the community.

RWENDAMA WOMEN APPRECIATE VANESSA CHAMPION - ''From the time the women planned inviting me to this ceremony, they kept asking me if it were possible to invite the “Muzungu” lady (Vanessa Champion), whom they had loved so much when she visited them some years back'' Elizabeth explained. Furthermore, she said that:

''Therefore when I went for the party, I carried with me Vanessa Champion’s photo book “A change is in the air; the threatened life of pastoralism in Uganda” The women were very excited by the photos, they were happy to see their own photos, their children’s and neighbors’ photos!!! “Oh my God, I cannot believe that the muzungu lady knows me, there is my photo in this book” one lady said when she saw herself in the book churning milk.The women gave me a MILK POT as a gift to send to Vanessa Champion!'' 

Rwendama Women’s Bull Fattening project was originally part of the AKAKU women’s group, which has been a partner with PENHA Uganda since 2003.

*The news item is produce by PENHA Uganda team.