Thursday, November 16, 2017

MMU hosts ULIA’s 3rd regional workshop for IFLA International Advocacy Programme

Workshop participants 
Mountains of the Moon University (MMU) hosted the first of its kind International Advocacy Programme for all western Uganda librarians. Sponsored by IFLA, in association with ULIA (Uganda Library and Information Association), the western Uganda regional workshop rode on the theme “Role of Libraries in the Implementation of UN 2030 Agenda and SDGS”.

The third IAP workshop was held from Monday 6th to Wednesday 9th November 2017 at MMUs’ famous Saaka Main Campus, 8 Km off Fortportal town. The western university touches the quiet and tiny Lake Saaka just below the magnificent Rwenzori Mountains, offering a beautiful view of 
mountain sceneries all of which make the campus very unique. The workshop attracted thirty five participants from across the western region. Among those who addressed the participants during the colourful opening ceremony, are: Prof. John Kasenene the Principal, Mountains of the Moon University (MMU). 
Ms. Margaret Kahiika- Chairperson LC5 opening the Workshop
Professor Kasenene spoke on the “importance of advocacy, community outreach, value of librarians and the librarians’ roles in changing the mind-sets and attitudes of people. He highlighted the need to package relevant information to serve all diverse groups with the right information so that they apply it to their daily needs and supporting the realisation of the SDGS. He requested ULIA to continue effectively serving communities as one of the new areas to address if we are to impact on our society positively. Prof. Kasenene appreciated ULIA’s role in advocacy issues. 
He warned ULIA on the igger task she has to set a strong profession, “from hunters to good information citizens”. The participants were challenged by the vocal professor who had set up Kibaale Science Centre which is serving the community by providing the necessary information. 
Ms. Margaret Kahiika- Chairperson LC5 officially opened the workshop. She noted that Kabarole district is prioritizing at  least four SDGS as per needs of each community: poverty eradication, quality education, good health, water and sanitation and climate change so that they could ably account to the communities they serve on order to make reasonable impact by 2030. She further pointed out the importance of retooling librarians so that they improve the information provision to effectively impact the communities they serve. 

ULIA president Dr. Sarah Kaddu gave an overview of the IAP workshop, emphasising the importance of sustainable development as a process which requires steps to follow, facing challenges and reflecting on what went wrong and restart all over again for sustainable development; and importance of having quality leaders for quality library services provision. Kaddu, also the IFLA IAP trainer further talked about advocacy and lobbying, the advocacy planning cycle, developing an advocacy plan to support the un 2030 agenda, identifying programmes to support SDGS, facilitated the role play and writing advocacy plans to support 
                     Some participants carried along their infants
the un 2030 agenda. 

Mr. Eric Nelson Haumba, one of the beneficiaries of the IAP– talked about the UN 2030 agenda, Uganda’s vision 2040, Uganda’s national development plan and the role of libraries in the un 2030 development agenda. 

Participants praised ULIA for having chosen Kabarole district and for having imparted knowledge and skills on a very new area in library science- advocacy and having enlightened them on SDGS and what the roles of librarians could be to support development and in realisation of the un 2030 agenda and SDGS. Many were heard to say: "this is my first time to hear about SDGS. I had heard about the SDGS but i didn’t know what was involved and what roles library and information professionals could play".  Mr Hatega Emmanuel of Kisoro Community Library in Kisoro district was all smiles and praises about ULIA and IFLA. He promised to start awareness campaigns immediately on SDGS so that people in Kisoro district would know about SDGS and also promised to support the policy and political leaders with their development agendas. He added: we, the western region participants thank IFLA- the funders and assure them that their efforts and sacrifice was not in vain because we resolved to go out as very active and pragmatic ambassadors of the UN 2030 Agenda and the 17 SDGS gospel. 

Speaking after the three day workshop, the IAP workshop coordinator Ms.Winny Nekesa-Akullo noted that the workshop was very practical, a great success and she’s expecting a better ultimate IAP workshop that will be held in central Uganda between 27th -29th  of November, 2017.  At the end of the three days, participants had drafted their advocacy programmes to share with their institutions. 
Well-done ULIA.

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