Civil society organisations have played a profound role in energizing citizens to take part in the governance processes of their communities.
This is indeed what we witnessed in Kitegwa village, Kabaale sub county – Hoima district during a learning immersion that brought together members of Communities of Practice (CoP) under our philanthropy for development programme. The learning and reflection immersion that was hosted by Kitara CSO Network in May 2023 based in Hoima District, enlightened the CoP member organizations on the different models used for engaging citizens, their leaders and other stakeholders as part of promoting community-driven development. During the interaction, citizens underscored the role played by CSOs in empowering community structures, the harmonious working relationship with local governments and private sector for the benefit of communities.
“We thank CSOs for engaging citizens of this area, with the sensitization and trainings we have got, we are now able to handle community issues as they arise.” … Byakagaba John – Chairperson, Tegwa Local Council.
“The work of CSOs has encouraged me to be an active citizen. I never miss community meetings; women have been empowered to tackle community challenges. We now do mediation to resolve gender based violence issues” … Ms. Abwooli Millias
“You have all heard of the famous statement – The Oil Curse? For us, we want to meaningfully engage to ensure that oil becomes a blessing just like other nations that have successfully enjoyed the oil benefits. We want our communities to position themselves and that’s why we believe in investing in community based monitors as part of sustaining community-led development” … Mr. Paul Mulindwa, Executive Director – Kitara CSO Network.
Our interaction with community members and their leaders in Kitegwa village was inspirational, it showcased the value of development actors intentionally investing in communities/citizens to ensure that they are at the centre of the governance and development process, that’s the best way sustainable development can be achieved. Communities already have the power, all that is needed is facilitating and supporting them with requisite skills and knowledge to gainfully use this power.