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Giving Nutrition Advocacy a Youth Lift

According to the Africa Union Cost of Hunger Study (2012), the annual cost associated with  child malnutrition is equivalent to 5.6% of the GDP with 54% of the adult population being stunted. This greatly lessens the productivity of our country.

However, there is limited awareness and understanding among the public and government of the importance of reducing malnutrition. As a result, opinion leaders and decision makers do not recognise nutrition as a priority issue leading to inadequate financial and human resource investment towards the nutrition agenda and limited action towards integrating and scaling up nutrition.

With this in mind, Uganda Civil Society on Scaling Up Nutrition (UCCOSUN) held a Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop on Nutrition Advocacy. The workshop took place from Wednesday, 2nd March, 2016 to Friday, 4th March, 2016 at Ridar Hotel, Seeta Mukono. The overall aim of the workshop was to train a critical mass of advocates with whom the UCCOSUN and nutrition partners could work with moving forward.

The workshop was attended by those currently in service in civil society and government as well as upcoming nutrition professionals. The Uganda Action for Nutrition (UGAN) Society was tasked with with selecting 10 upcoming nutrition professionals from its pool of members to attend the workshop and these comprised of students from Kyambogo and Makerere University as well as recent graduates from the the two academic institutions.

The trainers were from a wide range of civil society organisations as well as academic institutions and included: Peter Milton Rukundo from Kyambogo University; Peterson Kato Kikomeko from UGAN; Joel Joshua Komakech from The Hunger Project Uganda; Florence Tushemerirwe from Makerere University School of Public Health, Crespo Mubbalya from Volunteer Efforts for Development Concerns (VEDCO); the acting chair of UCCOSUN, Richard Baguma and Boaz Musiimenta from the Office of the Prime Minister.

During his key note address at the beginning of the workshop, Mr Boaz Musiimenta urged all the participants of the workshop to always be well prepared when carrying out any advocacy and not to forget that government is not the only stakeholder civil society organisations are accountable to but the people they are fighting for as well. He also advised the participants of the workshop to not only pay attention to their reasons for advocating for nutrition but to think of the people they are advocating for as well.

In his closing remarks, the acting chair of UCCOSUN, Mr Richard Baguma told the participants that the hardest aspect of advocacy was listening. He also urged the participants to not forget that advocacy has to cause change in action, if there’s no change in action then no advocacy has been done.

A full report can be downloaded by clicking on the link below:

REPORT OF THE NUTRITION ADVOCACY TOT FROM 2ND- 4TH MARCH 2016

Captions from Day One 

Captions from Day Two

Captions from  Day Three

written by Tracy L. Birungi