Partner in Focus: VAD

Local mason, Patrick Tamale Lukwago, building a water jar for an elderly woman and her family. © All We Can/Andrew Edwards

Our partner Voluntary Action for Development (VAD) work to improve water, health and hygiene in the Wakiso district in Uganda.

Working alongside communities

Our partner VAD works in four ways:

1. Providing improved water and sanitation facilities
2. Promoting good hygiene practice
3. Lobbying for better services from the government
4. Setting up community based Water User Committee Groups (WUCs), Community Health Monitoring Teams (CMTs) and School Health Clubs (SCHs) who monitor and promote their work

Meet John Mukasa

John Mukasa is from Sagala village in the Wakiso District of Central Uganda. John takes on many roles in the community: he is a farmer, a pastor in the Seventh Day Adventists church, a Community Monitoring Team member and Chairman of the Water User Committee set up by VAD to take care of a new water source.

John Mukasa

Seeking out potential

In January, John joined community leaders from 27 villages to participate in a two-day training course on advocacy, organised by VAD.

During this training participants learnt advocacy and lobbying techniques and how to speak for those who are voiceless. They also learnt about working in a group and seeking out potential contacts who can help provide services in the community.

Working together

John says “After the training we came back to the village and gathered community members together and collected the problems that the community is facing – there were many. We insisted on focusing on the one problem that was most affecting us. The water source used for the last 15 years was in a bad state and needed a thorough clean.

Community members agreed on a day of the week to clean the water source. We saw that tools would be needed and people came with hoes, scythes, spades, hammers and axes. After cleaning the water source we made an action plan to do regular cleaning each month.”

Lobbying for change

VAD has done a very good job with all the training, we are trying to put everything into action. – John Mukasa

As well as encouraging communities to mobilise to solve their own problems, the training sessions have also enabled community leaders to lobby the sub-county authorities.

More than 60 local leaders have held meetings with sub-county officials since the start of the project and nine formal petitions have been submitted to the authorities.

These petitions included requests for improved infrastructure such as a community latrine or improvements to the roads. They also included requests to stop illegal fishing and for action against families allowing their children to go fishing rather than attending school.

Join us in prayer

God of mercy,
who hears the voices of all.
We thank you for the work of VAD and the impact it is having in Wakiso district. Thank you that people are experiencing improved health and are using their voices and skills to bring improvement to their community. We ask that you continue to bless this project, giving them strength to overcome challenges and joy in their achievements.
Amen