By: Betty Lunkuse, Envirojewels and Ivan Waraba, Buikwe Ministries.
galo Buwereza Organisation (NBO) held its first national workshop in Kampala, Uganda, from 5th to 7th February 2023. The purpose of the workshop was to unite home-based workers from across Uganda under one umbrella to build solidarity and to create ownership and clarity around the objectives of NBO amongst its members.
During the workshop, the current Working Committee members participated, as well as 242 delegates belonging to 121 groups. Each group was represented by two members, from the majority of districts in Uganda. The overall facilitation was done by Edwin Bett of HomeNet Africa and Vanessa Pillay of the WIEGO, ORP Programme, with the support of Katia Araujo from WIEGO.
Throughout introductions, the home-based workers shared their areas of work, such as:
In the meeting the draft Constitution was presented, with the objective of sharing it with this wider audience and so delegates could further discuss it with their own members in their regions. The objective is to produce a second draft to be presented in the next AGM.
In the workshop, partners and allies shared their insights, such as Abima Stephen, General Secretary of Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union, who emphasized the importance of growing numbers for the sustainability of NBO and for members to get unionized for visibility, unity, and power to fight for their rights.
Additionally, the policy recommendations from the Uganda National Academy of Sciences (UNAS) Consensus study were presented by the UNAS President. It was recommended that members learn smart agriculture technologies and conversation took place around benefits to be accrued from joining government platforms, employment, and development, quoting R204, bridging the income inequality gap, government to increase investment in systems and structures that improve the lives and livelihoods of workers in informal employment and recommending women’s work to be counted.
After listening to guest speakers’ recommendations, NBO members emphasized that as HBWs, they needed to broaden their ideas by sharing and getting exposed to new techniques/technologies of production and marketing, which was one of their main reasons behind joining NBO, in addition to inclusivity and equity, to enhance expansion and continuity.
Since there were only 2 members per group, it was agreed that the draft Constitution discussed earlier be shared by the remaining members regarding the following areas:
For a strong NBO, it was further emphasized to always consult and follow the Constitution, and leaders should always interact with all of their members on matters of organizational importance.
On 7th February, 2022 the Uganda home-based workers network was formally registered under the name Ngalo Buwereza Organization (NBO) meaning ‘’Hands and Services”, as the national network for home-based workers in Uganda. This was followed by the recruitment exercise that took place between April to July 2022, resulting in the recruitment of 121 groups representing over 2300 home-based workers. Subsequently, the Ngalo Buwereza Working Committee embarked on a sensitization drive under the theme “WE ARE WORKERS AND OUR HOMES ARE OUR WORKPLACES “, between October to November 2022.