The National Foundation for Democracy and Human Rights in Uganda (NAFODU) is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation implementing community-based projects to promote peace, democracy, and human rights. It has trained hundreds of young people in conflict resolution, launched a community-based radio programme and set up a peace network in south western Uganda. It was formed in 2000 by a group of young people in the Kabale district and is currently working in all south-western districts.
Training in peacebuilding and conflict resolution
NAFODU addresses religious, political, ethnic and land conflicts that are threatening peaceful coexistence in south western Uganda. In 2008, supported by the German Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, NAFODU trained 120 volunteers in civil conflict resolution. The volunteers learned the theory and practice of non-violent conflict resolution, gained peacebuilding skills and formed a network of peacebuilders.
The following year it implemented the “Peaceful Resolution of Land Conflicts and Peace Education Project”. NAFODU runs training in the peaceful resolution of land conflict and the protection and promotion of children and women’s rights. It engages young people, women’s groups, schools and radio broadcaster, stimulating public discourse on a culture of peace. It has also organised community meetings with different stakeholders (youth, women, government officials, civil society organisations, religious and community leaders) and set up a Peace Network to ensure the continuity and sustainability of its peacebuilding work. The network now has more than 556 members and is an important platform to share and exchange best practice, as well as discuss how to address injustices and human rights violations.
Freedom radio 94.7
With support from UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), NAFODU also set up a multimedia centre and launched a community-based radio called Freedom Radio 94.7 FM. The objective was to promote peace and development, raise awareness and share information on community development problems.
As radio is a very powerful and effective tool to reach communities, even in rural areas, it plays a crucial role for peace activists working in grassroots organisations. NAFODU uses its radio programmes to foster dialogue and build peace, sharing its message as well with people who cannot read or write.
Conflict Resolution and Community Action for the Batwa Emporwerment
In 2010, NAFODU implemented a project called “Conflict Resolution and Community Action for the Batwa Empowerment”. The Batwa are an indigenous group living in the area of the Mgahinga National Park and Ecuya Forest Reserve, one of the poorest communities in the country. They used to live as hunters and gatherers, but when the national parliament was officially established in 1991 they were forcibly evicted from their land. NAFODU organised meetings with civil society, government officials and forest officers, to discuss how the Batwa can secure their land rights. It also used radio programs to encourage peaceful coexistence between the Batwa and the Bakiiga communities.