Monday, 28 July 2014


Interactive learning is a voluntary experience sharing session between Juveniles and guided by technical persons. It broadens the juveniles’ knowledge on various aspects of life for better living.  Most often they are held in form of open debates/dialogues on issues like; guidance and counseling, justice system, children rights and child protection and other pertinent issues as maybe suggested by the Juveniles during the session.

Through its IDF funded project, “Promotion of child rights through advocacy, legal support and education” Companionship of Works Association (COWA) has been able to support and transform the lives of many juveniles in Wakiso district. This has been made possible through the routine interactive learning sessions conducted at Rehabilitation Centres like Naguru Remand Home. Since December 2013 to June 2014, COWA has been able to conduct 4 interactive learning sessions and reach over 400 children. During these sessions the juveniles shared experience, and were also sensitized on key issues such as Court procedures concerning their cases, and the need for reconciliation with the people/community they offended. During some sessions, the juveniles were oriented on some life skills  in areas of their interest, with the hope that this will empower them economically in future and prevent them from committing crimes (like theft) that would  get them remanded back.

These learning sessions have helped in empowering children on issues concerning child rights and protection, the judicial system and life skills. On the other hand, some children have been encouraged and facilitated to reconcile with the people they offended; as the first step to correcting their lives and paying for their faults:
Kasibante Daniel (not real names) aged 17 years is one of the juveniles who attended the interactive learning sessions.  During one of the sessions titled “Despite the care given to us children, what fails us” and after watching the film “Unconditional”, Joseph was touched and challenged to seek audience with his family and apologize for wronging them. COWA spearheaded this process and Joseph met his family, he apologized for his wrong deeds and asked to be pardoned. The family forgave him and accepted him back, pledging to work with him on his release.

At one of the other sessions about business management, juveniles shared on identifying marketable trades in Uganda. They mentioned hair dressing, motorbike repair and maintenance, brick laying and concrete practice, and carpentry as their areas of interest and they were briefed on the benefits and risks involved with each; but left it up to individuals to choose their areas of interest. Following the sharing on business management, seventeen (17) year old William Bwiire (not real names) of Kazo village, Nabweru Sub County, Wakiso district identified motorbike repair and maintenance as his area of interest and future area of focus. When William left Naguru Remand Home in December 2013, he together with COWA shared the issue with his parents who did not hesitate to support him in acquiring practical skills.  William enrolled for training at Dembe and Kalule Kasimu garage located in Bwaise and acquired knowledge and skills in motorbike repair and maintenance; and due to his hard work and commitment, Dembe and Kalule Kasimu garage retained him as their employee.  William is now a changed and responsible boy. He earns one hundred thousand shillings monthly from which he is able to take care of his financial needs. He is happy with his current life. “I am grateful to COWA for conducting and facilitating the interactive learning sessions from which i learnt so much that has transformed my life socially, spiritually and economically. I do not regret the time i spent there because to me it was a time for learning and shaping my future. With continued support from COWA i am certain that many other juveniles will be transformed into better people.” William asserts. 

These and many other testimonies from the juveniles in and out of the Remand Homes have caused the promotion and realization of children’s rights; one of the key human rights aspects that IDF focuses on, in contributing to the attainment of Human rights observance in Uganda.