Monday, May 23, 2016

A cultural role reversal

By Keneth Kaggwa, UVP Program Coordinator

The culture in Iganga rural communities is deeply ingrained into daily life and it's important to respect these cultural norms. Culture influences family roles, dress code, greetings, and more. Those of you who have been to Uganda have likely seen women and girls kneel down when greeting or serving men in order to show their respect. 

It was such an unexpected surprise when Mr. Muhamed Isabirye, the Chairman LC 1, of Kasambika 1 Village felt such joy and gratitude during Kasambika's graduation fair that he knelt down as he thanked UVP for the work we have done in his village for the last three years. "We will always remember UVP," he said, as he shared his heartfelt gratitude. Culturally, kneeling is not something you will see a man do. Seeing a Chairman (also called president of the village) kneeling before a large group of over 400 people hit the deepest parts of our hearts. 

This shows how receptive Kasambika has been toward our work and the readiness of the community to carry it on. We have no doubt that with such a leader, Kasambika will continue to make changes to improve its health. The Chairman was willing to break with culture to show his respect, and it gives us a strong hope that the knowledge and skills imparted in the community will lead them to create and implement their own health and development solutions.

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