Monday, 9 June 2014


The Batwa are an ethnic minority group in Kabale district. They have for a long time been unconsciously involved in practices of human rights abuse. The women especially have suffered violence at the hands of their husbands and society because of the deeply entrenched attitudes and stereotypes that demean women; low levels of formal education and ignorance; alcohol and drug abuse; resource poverty; poor housing and unemployment. Women among others have suffered double marginalization the most; first as women and second as batwa.
African International Christian Ministry (AICM) used Community change agents to reach out to this community to address these human/women rights violations. Community Change agents are largely batwa and non batwa resource persons identified and trained in human rights, advocacy, documentation and referral issues. They sensitize/educate the community on human rights issues, and counsel the batwa about the danger of alcoholism which is seemingly an acceptable life style amongst their community. They also report and handle cases of violence, and follow up these cases to ensure that justice is extended to the victims of Sexual Gender Based Violence.
AICM is an IDF supported grantee whose interventions are aimed at contributing to the realization of women’s rights among Batwa resident communities in the sub counties of Butanda, Bufundi, Muko, and Ikumba.
Community change agents have been instrumental in empowering their fellow batwa, transforming the community and contributing to AICM’s overall project goal; for instance, the works of Mrs. Ntarugondimu Peace and Ntamusore Pafura testify to this. 
Mrs Ntarugondimu Peace is a Community Change Agent from Makanga Batwa Centre. Makanga Batwa centre is known for high levels of drug and alcohol abuse. Although Peace does not how to read and write, she is articulate in human rights issues and has spearheaded a campaign to end sexual and gender based violence in her community. Peace has several times appeared on radio talk shows in Kabale educating the batwa about human rights and challenging them to observe and respect the rights of women, participate in development projects and desist from alcoholism.In her advocacy for the rights of the Batwa women, Peace
Peace speaking to the Equal opportunities Commission
participated in the submission of a petition on the batwa rights to the Equal Opportunities Commission in Kampala on February 5th 2013. She is grateful to AICM and IDF for the change this project has caused in her community; “before this project started, we were ignorant about our rights, taken advantage of and also raped on several occasions with no help, and were girls were not in school, but now the situation is changing; we know where to report and get justice for the violations committed against us, our girls are in school, and we have also started engaging in meaningful development activities” Peace remarks.

 Ntamusore Pafura has been instrumental in educating men about human rights and specifically respect and observance of women rights. “It is high time we realized our weakness of idleness and alcoholism that often culminate into fights with our wives. It is our roleas men to start income generating projects that will enable us support our families. I am ready to teach these skills to all batwa men for free to ensure that domestic violence stops”
Pafura shows fellow batwa how to do handcrafts

Pafura noted during a sensitization meeting with the men of Butanda and Bufundi Sub counties. Just like Peace, Pafura has also been on radio to expound on the how the Batwa and their Bakiga neighbors can work together to end sexual and gender based violence in the community. Pafura appeals to the Batwa men to display good behavior, and be exemplary to their children by living domestic violence free lives. Pafura is a role model in his community. He has worked hard, progressed and proven that batwa too can develop like any other human being and live a violence free life. Pafura is one of the two Batwa in Kabale district that have bought land and also built a permanent house without external support.
The work and achievements of the change agents, has won admiration of both Batwa and non Batwa and served as an inspiration to them to be better people. And this has allowed for transformation in amongst the batwa.