What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?
I was brought up in rural area and I have extensive experience on how things are done there. In most of the villages in Uganda, things are far different from those in urban places. Very little attention is paid to rural community members in government service delivery at all levels. This is so because the rural communities are not well represented in most of the national development programs. Most of the rural community representatives are not natives of the very communities that they serve, thus their performance is never adequate for community uplifting. Communication and information access is very poor in rural areas and they are always marginalized based on their low literacy levels. A basic education of key issues is never well or completely implemented in rural communities. This has kept the rural communities far behind in most development programs.
The majority of rural community members, especially women and children, are continuously suffering at the hands of their fellow man because they do not know how or where to report criminal cases. Rural women and children in my community face many hardships which include (but not limited to) rape, harsh treatment, property rights abuse, and intimidation. Most of their cases are never presented in courts of law for judicial action because they lack information on whom to contact and so issues are always resolved unprofessionally on a personal basis, often with bribery.
In 2003, I laid a strategy to help out people in my community by establishing an organization called Kikandwa Rural Communities Development Organization (KIRUCODO) with the aim of empowering rural communities through skills development, sensitization and training. Implementing the strategy has been a challenge as many seemed to not support the initiative of assisting in empowering rural communities. A plan of action was developed with a focus on sensitizing rural people and educating them about the need to help each other rather than waiting for outsiders who may have different goals. Today, all the development programs going on within my community are mainly supported by the people themselves. They learned that helping each other and working together as a team is the best approach for social and economic development.
Tell us about the social innovator—the person—behind this idea.
Professionally, Robert is a Science Technologist in Biological Sciences. Founded and managing Non-Governmental Organization- Kikandwa Rural Communities Development Organization (KIRUCODO) and is 2008 Justice Makers Fellow of International Bridges to Justice
Since 2003, Robert has served in various organizations in the capacity of: Systems administrator for ICT-4 Schools & Community under Mission Harvest Ministries Africa; volunteer in the department of information and communication of Disabled Women In Development (DIWODE); Coordinator for Community Water and Sanitation Policy monitoring, evaluation and advocacy in Makindye Division under Uganda Domestic Sanitation Services (UGADOSS), General volunteer for To Love Children (TLC) organization; etc.
Robert has participated in a number of International training programs and workshops such as: Three-months Global Educational program in Japan under World Campus International-Japan; two-days training workshop in Information and Communication Infrastructures for Rural areas in Africa under UNIDO Nairobi-Kenya; five-days training workshop in Information Production with satellite receivers in Accra-Ghana ; one-day Seminar on Challenging Impunity of Sexual Violence by A.C.O.R.D ; penal leader of Refugee Life and Internally Displaced People during the International conference of Humanitarian Studies in Netherlands, Presented a poster on Commercial Algae farming for Bio-diesel production and environment conservation in rural Africa, among others
Robert is a member of the following networks: International Humanitarian Studies Association, International Criminal Court Coalition, Justice Makers network, Peace and Collaborative Development Networking
Lastly, Robert is interested in Rural communities development and empowerment, human rights, reading and writing, sustainable development, technology, alternative technologies, making friends, and God
How did you first hear about Changemakers?
Through another organization or company
If through another source, please provide the information.
Peace and Collaborative Development Network www.Peace and Collaborative Development Network