In a bid to make the coalition visible and known to HRDs countrywide, the secretariat undertakes to carry out regional coalition building meetings. These meetings will not only highlight the Coalition and opportunities it presents but also extend training to HRDs on Legal Compliance, Safety and security in Uganda. It was in that regard that the Coalition conducted a coalition building meeting in Arua district.
The training goal was to improve physical security as well as have HRDs comply with the different laws managing not for profit organizations to be able to shield HRDs from being on receiving end of the law.
A total number of 45 HRDs from 8 districts of the West Nile Region of Uganda attended a 2 days residential training at Desert Breeze hotel. The Districts which participated are Nebbi, Zombo, Arua, Adjumani, Koboko, Yumbe, Moyo,and Maracha.
Participants were taken through the basics for setting up security plans and individual safety plans. Participants had to do demo plans which they presented to the plenary. Interesting to note is that there was a session about Legal compliance and participants often mentioned that they have not judiciously adhered to provisions on most laws that affect them such as laws on taxation, NSSF act, NGO act. This prompted the team to do practical elements around filing annual returns. It was very good for us becuae on our team we had an accountant who ably responded to the non-legal elements of the training. Three days was not enough to exhaust the practical and theoratical elements but it was an introductory session for participants.
Participants also had an opportunity to know about the National coalition of human rights defenders and its essence. And most importantly that the coalition is to be harnessed by HRDs in seeking their protection from eminent attacks from perpetrators seeking to sabotage their work.
We shall be doing a follow up to see if most skills have been put in practice or there is a need for more intervention.