January through April was an exciting and busy period for us. In this inaugural news letter, we would like to share highlights of achievements and news with our partners and friends. It is our intention to continually update our partners, allies, and friends of significant progress as we work towards human rights, social support, and health for intersex children and people in Uganda.
Community Outreach and Trainings
Rakai, Lwengo and Masaka
In January, the SIPD team conducted outreach in Rakai, Lwengo and Masaka districts. The outreach involved alliances built with Kalisizo referral hospital and training of point persons in all three districts. A total of 80 people were trained. The community trainings focused on explaining sex development variations, how they can be identified, how health workers and the community can respond to them using a human rights based approach, rather than a superstitious and stigmatizing approach.
Tororo, Mbale, and Soroti
The month of April was ushered in with a community outreach followed by a training of point persons in Tororo conducted between 1st and 3rd of April. There were also follow-up visits of existing clients and identification of new clients. World Vision Tororo branch was very instrumental in our community mobilization, and client tracing efforts. Through this partnership, the SIPD team also had audience and fruitful discussions with the District Health Officer, Tororo district.
Between 4th and 8th April, the projects officer followed-up existing clients in Mbale and Soroti districts. Followed up clients were doing quite well, including one who had fully recovered from surgery facilitated by SIPD. Alliances were built with Nabeneka Primary School, local council leaders, and health workers. 58 people were trained. A challenge of language barrier was encountered in Soroti and it was not very easy to get a volunteer translator. Resources to pay one had to be mobilized. As a lesson learned, the Projects Officer anticipated that this may be the case for Northern Uganda outreaches.
Staff capacity building
Staff development has been a key focus and in February, SIPD staff participated in the second phase of a staff capacity building training by EASUN. The training covered strategic planning and organizing, which included taking stock of previous work, partnerships built locally and internationally, and organizational needs that must be addressed in order to systematically promote the health and rights of intersex children and people in the country.
The training of paralegals is a brain child of our partner, Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF). It aims at equipping activists and project people working with sexual and gender minorities, to enable them interpret and apply the law in their various fields of work. SIPD staff participated in this training.
Management skills training
In an effort to upscale the capacity of key staff, in March, the Executive Director, the Administrative Manager and the Project’s Officer participated in a four-day capacity building training in Johannesburg, South Africa. The training focused on scaling up the leadership role SIPD is playing on the continent in amplifying the voice for intersex health and rights. The training brought together staff members from three partner organizations in South and East Africa – SIPD, Gender DynamiX, and TIA who has embarked on an advocacy partnership around non-conforming genders in Africa.