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“Training of trainers” challenges prevailing ideas on masculinities and femininities

“Training of trainers” challenges prevailing ideas on masculinities and femininities

Photo: Pauline Njiru/WCC

02 August 2019

Fifty students from Ugandan universities in Uganda were educated in challenging patriarchy and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) at a training of trainers (TOT) gathering in Kampala, Uganda.

The sessions took place from 27 to 29 July, 2019 at Makerere University.

Participants were commissioned as ambassadors of positive transformation, in hopes of overcoming the AIDS epidemic by addressing the gender-related causes of new HIV infections among young women and men.

“I have benefited immensely from the training, and I pledge to be a resource to my community,” said one male participant from Kyambogo University. 

The workshop was organized by the Anglican Community of the University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB) under the leadership of the WCC’s Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy (WCC-EHAIA) gender-justice champion, Brian Muyunga.

Training was facilitated by Ezra Chitando, the WCC Theology Consultant, and Pauline Wanjiru Njiru, the Eastern Africa Regional Coordinator for WCC-EHAIA. Participating universities included Kyambogo University, Gulu University, Mbarara University, Kampala International University and Makerere University.

In his welcome remarks, Kaweesi Yusufu, a student leader at CoVAB, emphasized that SGBV is a driving force for continued transmission of HIV among young people at universities. “This workshop represents a very timely and strategic intervention,” he said.

The TOT included memorable moments of deep reflection as young people exchanged views and ideas about the sensitive real-life issues in their contexts.

Listening and reacting to the testimonies from participants from the Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV (UNYPA) challenged the young men and women to make their own advocacy voice louder within their communities.

There was deep emotion as Hilary Nuwamanya, UNYPA’s “Mr Y+ Uganda 2018-2019” moved around the room showing people the second-line anti-retroviral medicines he takes every day. This was to support a message from his counterpart, Vivian Alice Nabanoba, the “Miss Y+ Uganda 2018-2019,” who encouraged the young people who are HIV negative to do everything in their power to remain so.

In a keynote address that was both scientific and theological, the guest of honor, Prof. Samuel Majalija, Deputy Principal of CoVAB, argued that equality of men and women was God’s desire right from the moment of creation.

“I must challenge you that as you grow, throw away those negative aspects of culture that are holding you captive,” said Majalija as he encouraged the participants to become advocates of gender justice in their families, communities and the nation.

Learn more about WCC’s Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy (WCC-EHAIA)