I took some time off to share the World Pulse "Security" survey with members in my local village whose opinions I feel matter to policy formulation but have limited access to internet and (Or) have limited affordability to a computer or smart phone and can't access electricity so they prefer analogue to smart phones because of battery longeivity
Below is a summary of their responses, mostly translated from Ateso (A local Ugandan Language).
All respondents are Ugandans, all Africans, all are not world pulse members.
I have summarised answers.
1. John, Primary school teacher, 54 years - father of 11
How do you define security?
- Security means peaceful living, freedom from violence and ability to carry on business and other human obligations without worry that you will be stopped by violent people, natural calamities and sickness or death.
- I was once made insecure when there was a tribal conflict in northern Uganda and many northern tribes came to my village for refuge. They were followed here so I had to allow all my family members to undergo self defence training by the government. I was not happy that my wife, school going children including daughters now had to spend an hour in the morning learning how to use an arrow and bow (arrow boys and arrow girls). I hope we never go back to that time.
- The biggest priority and concern for my family when it comes to security is peace in the country and being able to afford basic education, food, health. Also protection from sexual predators for the under age children in my care. There are many mentally diaturbed people and alcoholic people who may pose harm to them.
2. Acaba, Orange fruit farmer, 38years, mother of 6.
- Because of cultural reasons, it is men who are mostly involved in discussions about security in my community. But now with more daughters going to school I believe that there will be more women involved in the discussions like we hear from the city dwellers.
- To feel more secure it is important for every one to have a peaceful government, a stable home from which to raise their family and to work hard to have a good income to raise their children well. It is important to raise a family in unity, many husbands prefer to drink after work and beat their wives.
- domestic violence, sexual and gender based violence are still common in these villages. Even among educated men. Alcoholic spouses make homes insecure.
3. Amado, 41, mother of 5, Orange fruit and cattle farmer.
- My culture does not allow for women to be fully represented in discussions about security. You have to receive information through your husband or adult male relatives. You can also pass your suggestions through them. Culture is slowly changing because there is now a call for women to join security committees in the villages by government.
- Those in power should introduce programs that promote security and peace. Last year there was a football match at Masafu primary school. I saw two rival families cheering the same side. They even shook hands yet the family feud had lasted years. Education and sport promote peace. Also these programs should include the disabled, I saw a boy who was born with a hearing impairment playing as goal keeper, I am happy that His parents allow him to go to school.
- Now days there are many women groups that teach about modern farming, saving money, dance and drama. I heard that during some meetings have someone teaching women how to stand up to domestic violence by involving the local authorities and police.
Note: Respondents were not open to having follow up questions but felt that their quotes would help in policy formulation if shared.