SASA! in Kampala
CEDOVIP is dedicated to activism. This is done through their efforts, day in and day out, to prevent violence against women in Kampala’s communities. Over the last four years, they have been pioneering the SASA! approach in communities in Kampala.
SASA! in Kampala focus on communities in Rubaga and Makindye Divisions. Rubaga Division accommodates the seat of the Buganda Kingdom. It is a peri-urban community on the outskirts of Kampala City, with an estimated population of 344,752. Makindye Division has an estimated population of 350,800 and it accommodates a large police barracks and training school. Both are low income, densely-populated communities on the edge of the capital city.
SASA! in Action
The SASA! approach comes to life in Kampala’s communities through CEDOVIP’s skillful and energized implementation. As they move through the four phases of SASA!, CEDOVIP walks every step of the journey beside communities and institutions, working to create holistic, sustainable change by:
- Fostering “everyday” activism by working with men, women and young people. CEDOVIP builds relationships with over 400 men and women from the communities who are keen to rethink issues of power, rights, gender and violence. Working side by side, CEDOVIP staff and community activists spearhead a variety of activities on a daily basis to inspire and enable community members to also rethink these critical issues and their role in bringing about positive change.
- Engaging with the Police and Health care institutions to strengthen their response to violence against women. CEDOVIP’s long-standing relationship with the police, including developing a curriculum, guidelines and roles accessible to various levels of law enforcement officials, has brought about foundational change in the way services are provided, the level of care women receive, and the understanding of violence against women as a violation of human rights and a criminal offence.
What are we learning?
CEDOVIP’s implementation of SASA! in Kampala has taught us pivotal lessons about violence prevention in urban settings.
- At the core of CEDOVIP’s unique approach is focusing on personal relationships. Building strong relationships with key community members is critical to effective community mobilization. CEDOVIP understands that this goes beyond knowing someone’s name and they develop close relationships through cultivation of trust, deep personal familiarity and presence during times of celebration or sorrow.
- CEDOVIP believes that everyone can be activist. Inspiring activism in low resource environments without using monetary incentives is possible by empowering individuals to take action in manageable, informal ways with their peers, neighbors, and family during their regular tasks and routines. No action is too small and everything is celebrated.
- Community mobilization to prevent violence against women in private spaces leads to prevention of VAW in public places.
- Men and women can work in solidarity to prevent violence against women if they understand that violence against women is an injustice based on power imbalances, not isolated incidents of violence. When community members realize the strength of their power with others, the spirit of activism comes alive.