Uganda: sexual diversity as an action

Moses Loveroy Walusimbi, chairman of Uganda Gay on Move(UGOM), an organization of African LHBTI refugees in the Netherlands wonders from the audience why no attention in the Youth Manifesto for sexual diversity. “If someone in Uganda could tell that he was gay, for example at a job, he would get a red card for that job. So Mr. Mwirima, turn to your project the topic of sexual diversity “on the agenda?”

James Mwirima see the problem not. He refers to the so-called anti-homowet in Uganda which was passed last year, but by the Supreme Court again was declared invalid. “At the same time, the government installed a commission for equal rights. In practice, I have never heard that someone was not given a job because of his or her sexual orientation. That is not a question asked at the interview.Sexuality takes place between the sheets in the bedroom. Outside nobody wants to know anything about it. ”

“The South (Uganda) is coming to the North (Netherlands) to tell about the operation of neighborhood and village meetings, youth manifesto and new platforms for social media,” says James Mbusa Mwirima pride. Mwirima is director of the Ugandan nongovernmental organization Citizens Watch-it(CEW-IT) and is visiting the Netherlands in response to the OxfamNovib E-Motive exchangeDeepening Democracy‘. Ugandan participate in the exchange program, Brazilian and Dutch organizations Movisie and Democracy Network section

Youth Manifesto

James Mwirima: “We use the Youth Manifesto to support young people in the governance processes.The manifestos are a reference to the directors speak on what they should be doing. Politicians sometimes the wildest promises, but which are often not quite live up to all. As the politician who was promised a bridge to a region where there is no river. ”

Mwirima outlines the problems of young people under 25 who make up 73 percent of the Ugandan population. Thus Uganda is the country with the most youthful population in the world. As regards the proportion of young people in the total population scoring Netherlands and Brazil significantly lower: in the Netherlands, 29.3% of the population younger than 25 and Brazil 40.9%.

Environmental activism in Brazil

Anthropologist Carmela Zigoni is project Youth Manifesto at INESC Institute for socio-economic studies in Brazil. She says that INESC has deliberately chosen for the Youth Manifesto. Her documentary also shows how Brazilian young people more control over their situation, trying to get through to gain political influence. Through the Youth Manifesto draw the attention of young people on issues such as environment, employment, social relations and discrimination.

An example is a cooperative in which young people through waste recycling and environmental commitment, new work trying to create. Media businesswoman Nies Medema wonders how INESC trying to improve the image of young people (‘reframe’), for example around the environmentalists who are committed to recycling. Carmela Zigoni says the government in Brazil participating in the project should be seen as environmental agents, but meanwhile still portrays as homeless unemployed. “We try to convince the government to turn these young people as the scavengers of garbage.”

Youth Platform Amsterdam East: long road

Redouane Amine and Jaika Koot show what was used during the creation of the youth platform in East Amsterdam. Especially the frustration that so few young people are represented in the government led before. The platform now includes a year and there is still a long way to go. “We learned to think globally and act locally, and that is quite awesome. Both in terms of the approach of the Youth Manifesto and in the community process in which we organize ourselves. There are in Amsterdam East all sorts of meeting places as The Meevaart where different groups come from all backgrounds, but still not much for young people. We were told that we could not organize ourselves, but we can do so. ” Key points from the Amsterdam East Youth Manifesto include:

  • think creatively (“out of the box ‘) rather than following the beaten path;
  • guess inclusive (all groups to ‘);
  • some stories that increase mutual understanding;
  • Be transparent
  • speak a clear language.

Practical results

When Team Catapult, the youth platform in Utrecht, the stakes are different, tell Liza Fennis and Tjerk Feitsma, both dressed in fine play t-shirts. Liza especially want to see practical results and calls for quotas for companies to provide a minimum number of young people internships or volunteer work. “We want to live from the heart and be authentic. That is what we have also organized workshops. Because if you are looking for a job, you should know who you are. At first I did not believe I could have political influence, but I’ve learned that you can do it within 24 hours. You can go for example in discussions with the city council. ”

Tjerk Feitsma says Team Catapult succeeded on October 6 to present the Youth Manifesto for the city council. “There is no participation of youth in the council. This we have raised with clerk and councilors.So now we’ll go to the city council to speak. ”

Online platform Ushahidi

Emmanuel Oluka, IT specialist from Uganda, presents the technical ins and outs of the online platform Ushahidi. As an open source platform has its origins in Kenya in 2007. Obama said on Ushahidi: “It’s great. It started right here. ” Oluka demonstrates that Ushahidi is a form of crowdsourcing is that large groups of people can be reached, allowing it to be used for instilling social change. For example, on data collection from different communities about youth unemployment. “There are so many new ways to share information, more and more new systems, and it also changes the behavior of companies and groups of people.”

“We want to introduce a new dynamic and let hear voices’

Oluka mainly outlines the technical capabilities of the website and app, with email, SMS integration, twitter feeds and videos. Michael Vermeer’s Young People’s Forum Amsterdam-Oost explains what it takes to get a Dutch version of the system in the air. “Our version of Ushahidi ( We want to collect all kinds of data, for instance on the labor market and discrimination. We want the site to tell the story of young people, including through interviews. We want to bring about dynamism and new voices be heard. ”

A woman says she is impressed by the ‘neigbourhoods assemblies, “the district meeting in Uganda because they are organized from the bottom up. In the past year 120 assemblies set up in districts and villages as platforms where citizens can talk to. In the video of James Mwirima played this neighborhood and village meetings – with their important role in the citizen – a large role. “But I see the agreement with the youth platform in Amsterdam East, because that’s only a small group. But it would be wonderful if there were to be held in each sub-district such meetings. ”

According to Vermeer, there are so many groups in Amsterdam East bottom-active, but keeping them is not concerned with youth issues. He emphasized that the Ushahidi project with CEW-IT is a great example of South-North cooperation. “The Ushahidi project shows how we can learn from you in Uganda.

Mellouki Cadat, Project Youth Manifesto at Movisie and co-organizer of Neighborhood Communities, Youth Manifesto looks like Ushahidi and welcome new means of action. “Together with the Youth Manifesto Ushahidi is a new action tool in the toolbox for the citizens in the Netherlands. I wonder how the young people continue, and whether the policy itself is responsive. How will they, governance and youth, seize this opportunity to deepen local democracy? ”

Neighborhood Communities
Indian Neighborhood Communities, KrachtinNL, Movisie Warehouse and the Silent together make this program on communities as contemporary form of citizenship. Centered on the perspective of the people who make these communities. What do they see as characteristics of their group? For which tasks they are and how they organize themselves? What makes them durable and how do they relate to institutional investors? Neighborhood Communities # 11 was organized with the collaboration of Network Democracy, the Young People’s Forum Amsterdam Oost and the Catapult team from Utrecht.

This article was written by freelance journalist Martin Zuithof
Photos: Evelien Davidson


  • Participation a

How young people can set up a community to solve problems like youth unemployment? And they thereby learn from Ugandan social methods as the Youth Manifesto and the Ushahidi platform? “We are often told that we can not organize ourselves, but that we can do.”

(Great thanks to Mr. Cadat)