The inception meeting hosted by the Eastern Archdiocesan Development Network (EADEN) in Bududa District, Uganda, marked a pivotal step towards advancing climate resilience and sustainable livelihoods in the region. Attended by a diverse group of stakeholders, the meeting was characterized by a deep passion and genuine interest in the project’s overarching goals.
EADEN, a network of Caritas organizations within the Catholic Church, operates across 46 districts in Eastern Uganda. Established in 2009, it is legally registered as an NGO under the NGO Act of 2016. EADEN’s primary objective is to facilitate development interventions and capacity-building for Caritas organizations, with a focus on uplifting marginalized communities. Guided by a five-year strategic plan (2020-2024), EADEN’s mission is to enhance the effectiveness of Caritas Organizations in Eastern Uganda through coordination, capacity building, climate action, research, and advocacy. The strategic areas of focus encompass climate-resilient livelihoods, good governance and human rights, research and innovation, disaster risk reduction, and institutional development.
In partnership with the Foundation for Community Development and Empowerment (FCDE), an organization dedicated to empowering communities for self-led development, EADEN embarked on a project to promote climate resilience and sustainable livelihoods. The initiative particularly emphasizes energy-efficient cookstoves and briquette-making in light of the government’s restrictions on charcoal burning.
The Chief Administrative Officer of Bududa District opened the meeting with warm words of welcome and gratitude to all participants for dedicating their valuable time. Expressing eagerness to learn more about EADEN’s mission and work, he extended full support to the project. His remarks set a tone of inclusivity and collaboration, highlighting the district’s commitment to the success of the initiative.
Mr. Godfrey Muhwezi, the Executive Director of EADEN, provided a comprehensive overview of EADEN’s vision, mission, and strategic approaches. He outlined EADEN’s vision as a guiding beacon for the organization’s long-term goals. The mission, focused on enhancing the effectiveness of Caritas Organizations in Eastern Uganda, was underscored. Mr. Muhwezi also detailed the strategic approaches, emphasizing coordination, capacity building, climate action, research, and advocacy. His coherent communication provided participants with a clear understanding of EADEN’s foundational principles and objectives.
The Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning Coordinator (MEALC) presented the project’s impact goals and milestones. These encompass climate-resilient livelihood initiatives, practices, and models, as well as self-sustaining rural organizations and financially empowered rural communities. Notable milestones include supporting communities in watershed management practices for improved soil and water conservation and capacity-building efforts for Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) group members.
Participants expressed their commendation for EADEN’s extension of the project to Bududa, particularly appreciating the focus on energy-efficient technologies in light of the government’s charcoal burning ban. Thoughtful questions were raised, seeking clarity on various aspects, such as the project’s duration and renewal options, engagement of community focal persons, beneficiary eligibility criteria, administrative protocols for MOU signing, and the selection criteria for project implementation in Bushiyi subcounty.
The Resident District Commissioner (RDC) concluded the meeting with a heartfelt appreciation for EADEN’s efforts. He acknowledged the potential positive impact of the project on the community and called for unwavering support from all relevant offices and stakeholders. His closing remarks encapsulated a spirit of cooperation and solidarity, underlining the importance of collective effort in achieving the project’s objectives.
In conclusion, the inception meeting laid a solid foundation for the project’s implementation. It fostered a shared understanding of the project’s goals and garnered strong support from both district officials and participants. The level of engagement and interest displayed during the meeting bodes well for the success and effectiveness of the initiative. This collective endeavor holds promise for ushering positive change and prosperity in the marginalized communities of Eastern Uganda.