United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda
Who we are:
The United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda is a Batwa-directed, community-based organisation headquartered in Kisoro, Uganda. UOBDU was created in the year 2000 with the help of the UK-based Forest Peoples Programme. Our sole purpose is to assist the Batwa in improving their lives so they may live on equal footing with all Ugandan citizens.
Why we exist:
In 1991, the Batwa in Uganda were formally evicted from the forests they have relied on culturally, physically, and spiritually since time immemorial. As a result, most were left landless and impoverished. Many resorted to begging, or took up work as labourers on other people’s land, to survive. Today, the Batwa experience ongoing erosion of their cultural, spiritual, and social traditions, along with widespread social, political, and economic marginalization.
UOBDU was created by the Batwa in response to these circumstances. The organization serves as a way for the communities to work together in finding solutions to the challenges they are facing outside the forests. Through UOBDU, the Batwa are working on securing land rights, education and literacy, sustainable livelihoods, improved healthcare, and institutional development.
Our vision, mission, and values:
Our vision is a Batwa community that is dignified, empowered, educated, and recognized.
Our mission is to promote the rights and build the capacity of the Batwa through formal and informal education, skills development, livelihood support, health programmes, and to advocate for the promotion and protection of their human rights.
Our values incorporate shared ownership, accountability, respect, and integrity.
UOBDU is registered as an NGO in Uganda under no: S 5914/8374.
UOBDU’s general assembly elects its board from within its membership every two years. The current board is composed of the following Batwa representatives:
Elias Habyar’imana (Chairperson), Janet Nyirabakunzi (Vice Chairperson), Jeremiah Dusabe (Secretary), Abel Ruguza (Treasurer), Nyirakayangye Jovanis (member), Abel Kasumba (member), Beatrice Nyiraguhirwa (member), David Kakuru(member) , Christopher Kagundu (member) and Ntagengwa Wilson (member).