1 THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA COMMEMORATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES: 15thMAY, 2013A SYNOPSIS1.0 BackgroundThe United Nations, through its resolution 47/237 on September 20, 1993 proclaimedthe year 1994 the International Year of Families. Ever since then, May 15thwasdedicated as the annual observance day for families worldwide.The International Day of Families (IDF) is intended to bring out the importance offamilies “as the smallest units of society where all development starts. It provides achance for governments, organisations and individuals to carefully consider their qualityof life and relationships enjoyed in their home.The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development is mandated to strengthen thesocial transformation of communities through preservation, promotion and developmentof cultural and family values. In this year’s IDF commemoration, the Ministry will createawareness of the role of families in advancing social cohesion. This will enablecommunities to work towards creating a “stable, safe, just and tolerant people,respectful diversity, equality of opportunities and participation of all people” as theyadvance social integration and intergenerational solidarity.2.0 Theme:The global theme for IDF 2013 is “Advancing Social Integration and IntergenerationalSolidarity. Uganda is “Social Integration: The Role of Families”.
2 Over the years, the day has been celebrated under different global themes, theyinclude; Ensuring work family balance in 2012; Confronting Family Poverty and SocialExclusion in 2011; The impact of migration on families around the world in 2010;Mothers and Families: Challenges in a Changing World in 2009; Fathers and Families:Responsibilities and Challenges in 2008; Families and Persons with Disabilities in 2007;and Changing Families: Challenges and Opportunities in 2006, to mention a few. InUganda, the IDF has been celebrated since 1994 under various themes including“Commitment to Family and Work: A basis for socio-economic development in 2012 and“the impact of migration on families in Uganda in 2010.3.0The Concept of Social integrationSocial integration is a movement aimed at creating a society that takes care of theneeds of minority groups such as ethnic minorities, refuges and marginalized groupse.g. children, persons living with disability and women. Its objective is to influencesocieties to provide full access to opportunities, rights and services available to theother privileged persons of the society to the marginalised.The goal of social integration is to create a society for all by “bringing all social groups,particularly the vulnerable groups and individuals into the political, social, cultural andeconomic structures of a society so that they can participate in the decision-makingprocess and improve their access to opportunities” (The World Summit for SocialDevelopment, Copenhagen, 1995). Social integration movement promotes transparencyin all society’s various works, mainstreaming a stable community and mainstreamingthe rights and opportunities for the vulnerable people and communities.3.1 Functions of Social Integrationi) Social Integration informs minority groups of opportunities, rights and servicesavailable to the members of the mainstream of society.ii) Social integration attempts to reduce the widening gap between the rich and thepoor or disadvantaged.
3 iii) Social Integration opens opportunities for teaming, adaption and development ofcompetencies, or jointly development of new productsiv) Social integration spreads out the cost of product development and risksassociated with commercial acceptance and size of market share.v) Social Integration provided a cost effective way of resolving potential conflicts incommunities and making trade-offs in case of businesses.vi) Social integration contributes to effective implementation of policy and servicedelivery through synergizing.In 2013, the International Day of Families would like to challenge Ugandans to examinethe role of the family in advancing social integration.3.2 The Government interventions in advancing social integrationIn Uganda, the social support mechanisms were stronger when the extended familysystem was fully functional but there is a steady social disintegration that has creatednegative impact on the family. The burden placed on the individual continues toincrease; these challenges and the increased trends towards individualism haveenlarged the social divide thus increasing the level of vulnerability among the people.Social integration should be promoted at the individual, family, community, and nationallevel. In Uganda, the family continues to play a major role in ensuring that its vulnerablemembers are not abandoned. Support is given in financial, care, emotional supportdespite the age of the vulnerable people. The Government of Uganda has also put inplace systems that advance social integration in order to protect the rights of theminority groups. They include,i) National lawsIn Uganda, the statutes and legislations aimed at strengthening the family relationshipsare in place, they include;• The Children’s Act 2000, the Local Government Act 1996, Cap 59 stipulatesrights, duties and responsibilities of the State, parents, children and guardians.
4 The Act obliges local authorities to support and monitor the survival,development, protection and participation of children in the community andestablishes Family and Children’s Courts• The Domestic Violence Act 3 (2010 criminalizing violence in a domestic setting• The Marriage Act and Kadi Courts of Law• Female Genital Mutilation Law 2000 and its the regulations• The Local Government 1997 Schedule 2 mandates the local administration toprovide services to children within their areas of jurisdiction withoutdiscrimination.• The Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act (2010); which provides for thecriminalization, prevention, prosecution and protection and assistance to victimsof trafficking.• The Employment Act (2006); which promotes equality of opportunity, it sets outto eliminate discrimination in employment and provides for equal work.ii) Policies that promote social integration;• The National Policy for Older Persons (2009),• The National Population for Social Transformation and Sustainable Development(2008),• The Children Labour Policy (2007),• The National Gender Policy (2007),• The National Policy on Disability (2006),• The Uganda National Culture Policy (2006),• The National Policy on Disability (2006),• The Orphans and other Vulnerable Children’s Policy (2004); and• Youth Policy (2000)All these policies guide on strengthening social relationships.iii) Other government departments have programs that promote social integration;
5 • The Judiciary provides for the first administration of justice to children andmembers of the community e.g. Family and Children Court and Family and ChildProtection units in the police.• The Disability Council,• The Equal Opportunities Commission Act (2007) which provides a legal basis tochallenge laws, policies, customs and traditions that discriminate against women• The establishment of safety centres.• Probation and Social Welfare Officers at the district Local government, astructure put in place to handle issues of rights and welfare of people• The plan for the modernisation of agriculture with the objective of increasinghousehold incomes and the Functional Adult literacy to empower the house.4.0 Objectives of the International Day of Families 2013.4.1Main ObjectiveTo advance social integration in Uganda.4.2 Specific Objectives1. To create awareness on the role of family in advancing social integration2. To highlight challenges families face in advancing social integration3. To identify ways that can advance social integration5.0 Observance of the International Day of Families 2013A number of activities shall take place;5.1Media promotion of the theme:A radio talk show expounding on the role of families in advancing social integration.5.2Commemoration through teaching at different worship places on thenational theme of IDF 2013;Six (6) workshops on the national theme shall be held in different worship centres. Allreligious places of worship in Uganda shall prayers for the family in the month of May
6 but special emphasis shall be put on Friday 9th May, 2013 for the Moslems, SaturdayMay 10th, 2013 for the Seventh-day Adventists and Sunday May 11th, 2013 for all theChristians. All Religious programming will be carried out in conjunction with the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU).5.3Discussions of the national theme at 10 academic institutions;In order to involve the children and students, ten (10) schools will be identified todiscuss the role of families in social integration. They will include 3 primary schools(Mugwanya Preparatory School - Kabojja, Ntinda Primary School and Ntinda School forthe Deaf), 3 secondary schools (Bethany High School, Ntinda View College, andWakiiso Moslem School) and 4 universities of Makerere University, Kampala University,Mukono University and Bugema University.5.4Observance of the IDF at the Local GovernmentEach Local Government shall be urged to organize events to observe the InternationalDay of Families. Activities could include awareness campaigns on the national theme atthe community level.6.0 The D-DayThe MGLSD intends to invite 600 participants to the commemoration of the IDF; theseinclude Students, Pupils, Teachers, Members of Parliament, Civil Servants, and thegeneral public. The Venue shall be the Upper Gardens of the National Theatre startingat 9:00am and ending at 1:00pm.The Chief Guest is expected to be the Hon Justice Edmund Lugayizi, Head of FamilyDivision of the Uganda High Court.
7 7.0 Proposed Program for the Commemoration of the International Day ofFamilies at The National TheatreTime Activity Responsible Person9:00 am Arrival and Registration MGLSD9:30am Arrival Guest of Honour MGLSD9:45 am Welcome remarks UNCC10:00 am Presentation of a paper on Social Integration:The Role of Families in UgandaFamily support Uganda10: 15 am Entertainment School10: 30 am Presentation by various Groups- Ntinda School for the Deaf- Write up by Bethany High School Student- Findings on the National theme11:00 am Entertainment School11:15 am Speech by Hon. Minister MGLSD11:35 am Speech by the Guest of Honour Guest of Honour12:30 pm Entertainment School12: 45pm Closing Remarks MGLSD1:00pm DEPARTURE