A recent IRIN article (posted on AlertNet) affirmed what many of us at AJWS have been saying for a long time: that local aid and local humanitarian assistance are crucial to sustaining developing countries. According to IRIN, local assistance in northern Uganda has played a key role in post-conflict recovery in the Pader and Katakwi districts, districts that have endured years of violence and oppression.
A full report about local assistance in Uganda shares the following: “[A] domestic response is crucial for the overall effectiveness of humanitarian assistance in Uganda and is particularly important when the presence of international organisations is relatively low, such as in extremely insecure environments.”
In other words, working and empowering local communities is key—something AJWS is proud to help do.
One of AJWS’s grantees—Pader Concerned Youth Association (PCYA)—is squarely situated in the Pader region of northern Uganda. The organization was founded by Pader youth in 2001 to expand access to quality reproductive health services, sports and culture, and to offer assistance to vulnerable youth and children working for sustainable peace, reconciliation and development. More recently, however, AJWS has helped fund a PCYA project that enacts a three-prong strategy: promoting human rights, creating educational programs in schools to reduce youth vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, and improving food security of drought-affected households by launching a cassava planting project.
This kind of integrated approach to change—an approach in which food security doesn’t exist in a vacuum—takes a tremendous amount of thinking and coordination, but we’re thrilled to be seeing positive results!