Batwa community rallied to embrace responsible parenthood. The Batwa communities in Rubanda district have been asked to embrace responsible parenthood for development to be realized in their families and societies.
This call was made as Trades of Hope; a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) handed over food support to over 500 individuals in Muko Sub-county ahead of the festive season.
The beneficiaries mostly from the Batwa communities received each 10kgs of Maize flour and beans while children were given laundry soap to help them as they report back to schools in January.
In his address to the beneficiaries, Laban Biryomumeisho, the Executive Director, Trades of Hope called on the Batwa to be responsible parents and ensure that they do all it takes to bring up their children well.
“The children you see once given the best care and attention as they grow up can inspire the development of your communities. First of all, ensure that they are allowed to go to school as the schools open. An educated child is a resource you cannot take for granted,” said Biryomumeisho.
According to Biryomumeisho, the support is part of their efforts to help the vulnerable communities since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bridget Musiimenta, the Rubanda District Probation Officer called on the Batwa to ensure peaceful and harmonious families that will encourage proper child growth.
“We always believe that once children are raised up in a calm family where the parents exhibit a good relationship, those children are given a good foundation to prosperity in life,” she said.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, we have been checking on these communities and offering support in various ways. We felt it’s important this time too to reach out to them because whereas other people could be celebrating the joy that comes with the festive season, such vulnerable people could be there struggling without food,” he said.
Beneficiaries hailed the NGO for thinking about them in such times.
Kellen Kimpaye, a mother of 4, was wondering how she would be able to feed them during this time.
“We usually get our food after working in other people’s fields, however during this season, most people have put to a halt our duties saying that they are saving for Christmas and the festive season, leaving us without any source of livelihood,” she said.
Edward Kataama, another beneficiary said that he would use the donated food sparingly to a time when he will land on another work opportunity since he has been off duty for about 3 months.
“I used to work on a farm of one of the rich people around but when his children overstayed home due to the lockdown, he asked me to leave so that his children could be working there for a while. I have since then been struggling with food but for now, I have a good point to take me a long time,” said Kataama.
The Batwa, a minority tribe in Uganda once survived on hunting from the forests they occupied back then using arrows or nets, gathering plants & fruit in the rainforests. They also lived in huts constructed of leaves and branches, moving frequently in search of fresh supplies of food.
Since 1992, the Batwa communities have been experiencing a vast transformation as Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, which was their home, became a national park and World Heritage Site to protect the 350 endangered mountain gorillas within its boundaries.