mensen met een missie
Mensen met een Missie in Uganda
In the vast landscapes of Northern Uganda, my lens became a silent witness to the echoes of a once-bloody civil war, leaving behind not only scars on the land but deep imprints on the lives of its people. Guided by Mensen met een Missie, I ventured to the border with South-Sudan, documenting the relentless efforts of a local organization, RACI, in the face of one of Uganda’s most pressing issues—domestic violence against women.
The Unseen Battle: The scars of the conflict, which raged for over two decades, may have healed on the surface, but the shadows it cast upon the lives of Ugandan women persisted. Behind the veil of apparent peace, women grappled with the harsh realities of domestic violence, child marriages, and the haunting specter of female genital mutilation.
RACI’s Men Engage Project: My journey led me to the heart of RACI’s Men Engage Project, a beacon of hope in the struggle against gender-based violence. Every week, a dedicated group of men gather, not as mere spectators but as active participants in rewriting the narrative of equality. RACI’s approach is holistic, addressing the deep-rooted cultural and religious beliefs that perpetuates gender inequality. The Men Engage Project involves training religious leaders to become influencers for change, enlightening those involved in harmful practices like female genital mutilation, and connecting local leaders committed to combating sexual violence.
Connecting Communities: One of the most powerful aspects was witnessing the interconnection of local leaders—individuals who, despite the traumatic past, dedicated themselves to creating safe spaces for survivors. The initiative included educating leaders about the proper handling and support for victims of domestic and sexual violence, bridging the gap between a dire need and available resources.
Empowering the Future: RACI’s work doesn’t stop at the present; it reaches into the future by educating young boys about the importance of gender equality. By fostering awareness in the younger generation, RACI aims to create a ripple effect that will transform societal attitudes over time.
Mensen met een Missie’s Vision in Action: As part of Mensen met een Missie’s global mission to challenge beliefs that breed hatred and violence, this journey became more than just documentation. It was a testament to the power of dialogue and collective action in breaking the cycle of oppression. RACI’s Men Engage Project, under the broader umbrella of Mensen met een Missie, stands as a testament to the unwavering belief that violence stops when people engage in conversations that matter.