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Working together to empower Batwa minorities in Uganda

UN Online Volunteers support the NGO Centre for Batwa Minorities

06 Jul 2016
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Together with the Centre for Batwa Minorities (CBM), an NGO based in Kampala, Uganda, UN Online Volunteers from around the world are advocating for the rights of the Batwa people and work to empower communities and individuals of this ethnic minority in Uganda. 

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi, one of the NGO’s founders and Head of CBM’s Legal and Advocacy Department, coordinated the organization’s collaboration with online volunteers. Working with the volunteer teams on a variety of projects, Anita feels that the online volunteers have become a part of the organization. “The results of the collaboration were great,” she says, “we were able to accomplish our goals and we are now more visible. Many people have visited our website and asked for more information regarding our work.”

More than 30 online volunteers have worked on projects ranging from researching the human rights situation of ethnic minorities in Uganda, developing successful campaign concepts to protect the Batwa community, drafting proposals, managing and translating CBM’s website, to using social media to promote the objectives of the organization. Meet a few of them below.

CBM is now working on setting up a mobile legal aid clinic to provide advice and representation in courts of law to people in the Batwa settlements throughout Uganda. CBM is also producing a documentary in which the stories and voices of Batwa women and children are recorded and can be heard all over the world.

The Team

  • Sandra Candal Garcia

    Spain

    Social media manager and freelance translator
    She decided to become a UN Online Volunteer because she wanted to do more than just donate money.
    Sandra was the leader of CBM’s social media team, which created a blog to inform people about their work and the situation of the Batwa. The team also managed CBM’s social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and others. “Our assignment lasted six months. It really was a great experience.”

  • Reg Urbanowski

    Canada

    Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Advanced Education for the province of Saskatchewan. Prior to working with government he was a professor for over 20 years.
    He became a UN Online Volunteer because he wanted to share the skills and knowledge he has built up over the years with others.
    Reg developed a proposal to carry out a campaign on the ratification of international treaties in Uganda. “Online volunteering is a wonderful experience, especially for people who have mature careers and have gained significant knowledge and skills in the process. It allows people to share their skills in manner that suits their available time.”

  • June Mande

    Uganda

    Bachelor’s degree in IT; works as a sales executive for a media company in Uganda.
    She decided to become a UN Online Volunteer because she wanted to do something beneficial for others.
    June helped research donors for CBM’s projects and worked on the organization’s website design and content updates. “My online collaboration was very good – I got to learn a lot about designing websites from our team leader, who took the time to teach me every step of the process, so a big ‘thank you!’ to him.”

  • Ivan Sanchez

    Mexico

    Worked as a lawyer and for the government before completing a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management in Australia.
    He started applying for online volunteering opportunities when he became more aware of global issues and wanted to do something to make the world a better place.
    Ivan translated sections of the CBM website into Spanish. “I felt very touched by the organization’s mission and activities. I believe that the promotion and protection of the rights of ethnic minorities is basic in order to achieve equality and social justice.”

  • Neville Mwalimo

    Kenya

    Studied Computer Electronics and Mass Communications. He decided to become a UN Online Volunteer in order to contribute to change, and volunteering a few hours online was an excellent way to do so.
    Neville was part of the social media team and created captions, provided images and videos. “This opportunity was enlightening; I learned a lot about the Batwa community and also about teamwork. I was in a team with people from Uganda, Congo and Switzerland, and we are still friends today.”

  • David Langle

    United States of America / Colombia

    Background in human rights and in law.
    He decided to become a UN Online Volunteer when he had some time between completing his Master’s degree and starting his job, and he wanted to lend his skills and knowledge to an NGO looking for an extra bit of help.
    David developed an advocacy strategy for CBM to encourage the Ugandan government to adopt the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, an international human rights treaty establishing complaint and inquiry mechanisms. “I commend the CBM on their relentless work to push the government of Uganda to adopt international frameworks and I hope they continue to receive the necessary support.”