Community-Led Development Thrives in West Nile Region

Published By UNNGOF |  November 23, 2023

In the past, communities in the West Nile region relied heavily on the government to address their needs, including repairing essential infrastructure like boreholes, bridges, and access roads. This dependence often resulted in women having to travel long distances to fetch water, and school-going children faced the perilous risk of drowning in bridges during the rainy season. Access to markets and other essential services became a formidable challenge.

However, a significant transformation has taken place in the West Nile region, thanks to the unwavering commitment of WECISNET (Community of practice in Education) and the collaboration of local leaders.

Together, they initiated a movement to promote community giving, fostering a sense of ownership and self-reliance among the residents. To kickstart this endeavor, they organized engagement meetings, during which community members came together to identify and discuss pressing issues.

It was during these discussions that the community members began to appreciate the concept of giving for the betterment of their collective future.

“We are so grateful to WECISNET for the sensitization, we did not know that we could lead our own development, now our eyes have opened and we are ready to take on many projects in the community” Michael, LC 1 chairperson, Ojupasi village, Vurra Sub-county, Arua.

Giving within the community had been focused on individual occasions such as burials and wedding parties. Recognizing the need for extensive awareness, continuous sensitization meetings were conducted, both through physical gatherings and radio talk shows. The aim was to enlighten the residents about the potential for their collective efforts to bring about meaningful change.

“Giving happens in our society- African society in whatever form, Philanthropy for Development needs to be replicated in all that we do as WECISNET because it is empowering.” Feni Twaib, Executive Director WECISNET.

Communities in the West Nile region have now put their newfound spirit into action and witnessed an array of improvements that they have initiated without relying solely on government support, not only aware of their roles but also capable of identifying issues affecting them and working together to find practical solutions through the power of giving.

Compiled by Jane Kiyai, SPA-CSS 03/11/23.