Prof. William Bazeyo, the Chairman board of directors, Makerere University Rotary Peace Center has tasked the Makerere University Rotary peace fellows to innovate social interventions that directly address the challenges faced in the communities especially refugee settlements.
The Professor said this while speaking at a breakfast meeting with the peace fellows in Kampala today Thursday 29th, April 2021.
He highlighted the need for conducting research and guided that the principles of research rotate around knowing the number of people marked for the study and their respective needs.
He said, “When you conduct research, you do it to inform. I implore you to form groups and write proposals that study the underlying issues affecting the daily lives of people in refugee camps.”
Prof. Grace Bantebya-Kyomuhendo, of Makerere University, Women and Gender Studies, the Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), Makerere University, appealed for the fellows to take up the advocacy on the mental health of adolescents living in refugee camps.
She said, “Take up topics on the mental health of adolescents living in refugee camps. You need to investigate and understand the causes and hence find the solutions to their mental problems.”
Dr. Josephine Ahikire, said the board is available to extend financial support to the fellows and also pledged to support the social initiatives of the peace fellows.
“We will support you in sourcing for funding for your initiatives. I encourage you to also focus on initiatives that advance peace through education, counselling and health care in these refugee camps” She added.
PDG Xavier Sentamu called upon the peace fellows to become ambassadors for peace and to also use the networks to promote the peace initiative.
“Rotary is about humanity. We need to ensure the peace initiative impacts change. Be good ambassadors and use the networks you have built during the fellowship to promote peace initiatives in your local communities.” He added.
while at the meeting, Dr.Ahikire recognized the support that the Rotarians have rendered to the development of the peace center. Among those awarded included Comm. Johnson Byabashaija, the Commssioner General of Uganda for his contribution to the development of the peace center and Nina Interiors, represented by Patricia Kyazze, proprietor of Nina Interiors, Uganda.
The Makerere University Rotary Peace Center is the first peace center in Africa. It was established in Uganda in 2019. The Center received its first cohort of 15 Fellows from Liberia, DRC, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Nigeria, Zambia, United Kingdom, Burundi, Botswana, Australia and Uganda in February this year.
The Rotary Peace Centers program develops the capacity of peace and development professionals and practitioners to become experienced and effective catalysts for peace.