Gender based violence remains a prevalent social problem in Uganda. It takes many forms such as domestic violence, sexual violence, early marriages, human trafficking among others.
The Uganda demographic health survey (2016) indicates that 56 percent of women age 15 to 29 had experienced physical violence since the age of 15 and 28 per cent of women had experienced sexual violence in their life time. This basically means that more than half of Ugandan women/ girls have been abused at home, school, and work and within other social circles. In 2017 alone, defilement and domestic violence were ranked among the top crimes in Uganda constituting about 20% of all the crimes reported to Uganda Police.
This is enough evidence of the challenge on our hands. The UNHCR Uganda Sexual and Gender Based Violence Thematic Report (October 2018) also reported a whopping 4822 incidences in refugee hosting districts between January and October 2018.These are alarming figures that need urgent attention.
Gender based violence does not only violate the rights of victims but also puts their future at stake. Important to note gender-based violence leaves long-lasting physical and emotional scars and hinders the ability of individuals, especially women and girls, to participate fully in their families and communities – economically, politically, and socially.
It also holds back women and girls from getting an education, earning an income, and fully contributing to their societies. In fact it is also linked to the high new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women.
Although, Parliament has passed numerous laws to protect the rights and interests of women and girls – including the Domestic Violence Act 2010, Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, and Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, among others, counselors should take a lead role in fighting this vice first by creating awareness about the immediate and collective impact of these behaviors to the social development of victims especially girls since they are most vulnerable.
Secondly counselors can offer psychological support to the victims through probono counseling services. This can help victims to deal with the effects such as trauma and depression that result in gender based violence incidences.
Lastly advocating for stringent laws against the vice to deter the would be perpetrators.
Mr Kulyabingi Paul from Sauti Uganda told the counselling
students in the country. This was at the counselor’s dinner which was organized
by the Kyambogo University counselling students association last Sunday. This
was the first of its own which was a clear platform for the counseling profession
according to Paul.
Inset above; Sauti’s Paul Kulyabingi attending the counselor’s dinner
Sauti Uganda is an organization found under the ministry of Gender, Labour
and social development dealing with mitigating the rampant cases of child abuse
in the country. This organization has a toll free call help line 116, which has
displayed a high integration of technology as it employs counselors who handle
cases online and make a follow up.
This is where Paul from the same organization asked the various training
counseling students to toil and get ICT skills in this technology advancing
world in order to stay relevant to the society.
Above, Mr. Paul Kulyabingi a professional counselor from Sauti Uganda
making remarks on integrating ICT in the counselling profession if someone is
to be employable in this technology driven country.
Contact Paul -256 701501547
sharing a photo moment with the President UCA Mr Gaston Byamugisha and Mr Enock
Mwesigwa the incumbent president kyambogo University counseling students
parties are a great way to reconnect with family and friends—and we believe
there’s no better time for one than right now. Instead of waiting for the
holidays or next celebration, call your friends over just because!
March was another memorable day in the hearts of the counselling fraternity of
Kyambogo University, Kampala Uganda when the Kyambogo University counselling
students association organized a hilarious Counselors Dinner which was 1st
ever of its kind.
association sole handedly organized this event which left the Kyambogo
University community mesmerized. This was indeed exquisitely well crafted.
Inset; On left, The University counselor Ms Kyosaba winniefred
Biribonwa sharing a word of appreciation to the organisers of the event, on
right, The patron of Kyambogo University Counselling Students Association Mr
Kakinda Adrian Ivan
The major aim of the dinner was to bring back the
lost glory of the students’ counsellors association in Kyambogo University,
hand over party for the association to new members, networking day for counselors,
public lecture on self-branding to counselors among others. The invited guests
were the ongoing students, the counselling alumni, the psychology department
staff and other counselling profession well-wishers.
The event was braced with inspirational talks from
thunderous speakers, entertainment led by a live band, a finger leaking dinner,
ice cream dance, red carpet slides and walks,and the enire student body were
dressed like iron angels.
HILDA’S DOSE KILLED IT ALL…….
Striking messages about counselor self-marketing and
branding by Ms Bahat Hilda Sabiti from The coach ,above kept everyone on the edge of the
chair as it was hilarious. She quoted ‘The great thing in the world is not so much where
we stand as in what direction we are moving.’ Hilda graced the faunction as a
motivational speaker,an alumni of the counselling program from Kyambogo
University and a life coach.
She stressed that ‘I’m happy to get back to my roots as this
is a great institution of excellence that modelled who I am.’she came with the
husband Mr Tim Sabiti a life coach too who said hello to the gathering.
Inset; Mr Tim Sabiti and wife Ms Bahat
Hilda Sabiti from the Coach
from the Patron Mr Kakinda Adrian Ivan
Amidst the jubilations from the student’s body that
kept on chanting his name, Mr Adrian stood up with a surprise face as he looked
not to be believing what the dinner had brought in Kyambogo. He appreciated the
entire body that attended the dinner and he quoted “never go to a place and
leave it unnoticed “he called upon the incoming regime to work very hard to
make the association thrive for years in Kyambogo University. He also stressed
the point of self-marketing as one of the ways of making one’s profession
relevant. He broke down to mild tears as he couldn’t expect the beauty of the
dinner party, being first of its kind.
THE PRESIDENT OF UGANDA COUNSELLING ASSOCIATION MR BYAMUGISHA GASTON WAS THE GUEST OF HONOUR
He urged the young people to use their profession in
an entrepreneurial way to earn a living. It’s at this point when he gave
updates about the upcoming Counselors and Psychologists Act to regulate the
counselling profession in the country which has been a dream for decades, urged
government to invest a lot in mental health and he opened the dance. He urged
the government of Uganda to include counselors into the public service so as to
help the public in solving psychological hiccups and short pitfalls.
It was a finger licking
moment as members drew to the lines to get a million dollar buffet which left
everyone mesmerized .this strengthened the bonding as counselors from different
walks of life had to dine together, exchange thoughts as the next page band
plays that soothing music to make sure everyone remembers the experience.
Below Psychology Staff
lecturer Ms Nakanwagi Carol leads the line to get on the buffet, followed by
the University counselor Ms Kyosaba Winnifred, Dr Ejwang from special needs
faculty also graced the function
Members of the students counselling association enjoying a
picture moment with the UCA president Mr Gaston Byamugisha
Incoming association general secretary Ms Namugga Patricia
Martha receiving tools of office from Mr Enock the outgoing President
Outgoing General duties minister Ms Kwagala Phiona handing over
to Mr Berebera Andrew
L-R; Outgoing Finance Minister Ms Nabatanda Gloria handing over
to Ms Sande Lilian
L-R Outgoing President Mwesigwa Enock handing over to incoming
Disability affairs minister Mr Bukirwa Brian
Ms Nakaweesi Yvonne gets tools of office of speakership from Mr
L-R outgoing projects minister Mr Makumbi Jonathan handing over
to Ms Nabugasha Grace
Ms Atukunda Ameria gets tools of office of representative year three from outgoing president
Annet receiving tools of office of Deputy projects coordinator
On right,Ms Natukunda Molly receiving the tools of office of
Vice President of Uganda Counselling Association Ms Barbra Kalumba handing over a certificate of appreciation to outgoing Finance minister Ms Nabatanda Gloria
Second years were fully presented by their
Certificates were awarded to the best serving
ministers whereby this function was done by the Patron of the association Mr
Kakinda Adrian and the Vice president of Uganda Counselling Association Ms
The counselors dinner will be an annual event to bring close all the counseling fraternity in the country .
Thanks to the service providers who decorated the dinner venue, J.J Catering services for providing that breathtaking buffet, Next page band that provided entertainment on the whole evening ,Brian’s cream parlour for providing the ice cream dance ,the alumni, Uganda counseling Association board, students body and the alumni.
“Starting university should be a time for having
fun and making new friends. So why are we seeing record referral rates to
student counselling services and reports of student suicides in the news? And
what can universities do to help
Type ‘Student mental health’ into a search of Uganda news
and you’ll be hit by headlines referring to: ‘the ticking time-bomb’, ‘Students being let down’, warnings that
‘problems are rising’. If you read these stories in isolation, you’d be
forgiven for thinking that we’re in the depths of a crisis in student mental
health. In reality the picture is much more complex” lamented Ms Kyosaba
Winniefred Biribonwa during the 2019 Kyambogo University counselors Dinner
Kyosaba Winniefred was attending the Counselors dinner which was organized by
the Kyambogo University counseling students the previous Sunday.
She is worried of the continuous cases of suicidal ideations, addiction cases withdrawal cases she registers every week at the Kyambogo University counseling center. She called on the stakeholders in the country to sensitize masses about the need of seeking professional counselling intervention as one of the avenues of keeping our mental states stable. she stressed the need of the government of Uganda to streamline the counselling profession by bringing the counselors act.
She appreciated the
students counselling association and the patron Mr Kakinda Adrian for providing
such great platform for counselors to network and asked for such similar events
in line with promoting the profession.
Inset above; Ms
Kyosaba Winniefred sharing a moment with the Counseling Students association
Patron Mr Adrian Kakinda
University Counselor Ms Kyosaba Winniefred stressing how she is worried of the
dilapidating students mental health.
The two men seeking to become counselling association’s next governor engaged in a feisty debate Tuesday afternoon, drawing contrasts between each other on key issues facing the Kyambogo University Counselling student’s family.
Democrat Mwesigwa Enock and Republican Gitta
Emmanuel debated for one hour at the Kyambogo University, faculty of Education
lecture theatre where the department of Psychology is housed. Amidst exchanging barbs — about each other’s records
as former students leaders in their former institutions — and ideas — about new
creative techniques foe uplifting the counselling profession, it was such a
hilarious afternoon filled with chants from the crowd.
This was the first of its kind in the history of
Kyambogo University Counselling Students Association.
The 2019 Kyambogo University Counselling Students Association candidates
for president, stated platforms and stances in a hot debate that took place on
Tuesday, 19, 2019.
Candidates for Speaker, Disability affairs, vice president, prime
minister, General Duties, treasurer and General Secretary are running
unopposed, so they did not participate in the debate.
Above;Mr Mwesigwa Enock
convincing the counselling fraternity to give him mandate to lead them
Mr Ivan from the surveying course and Miss Gertrude a third year Guidance
and Counselling student participated as moderators and asked each group general
questions about their positions and platforms. Students submitted questions for
candidates, as well. Each candidate had two to two and a half minutes to answer
each question and a 30-second rebuttal if needed.
Presidential candidates: Gitta
Emmanuel and Mwesigwa Enock
What made you run for this
“One thing that is very important to me and many other students is mental
health and their counselling profession. I want to get to the bottom of this,
see why students are more stressed and show students all the resources the
counselling programme offers for the future. I want to help alleviate some of
the pressure and let their voices be heard.”
“I want everyone to feel like they are at home again – for this campus to just
not be a place to learn, but to come on campus to see your friends or a familiar
face. I want to also see how we can change counselling association back to how
it was, to make it feel more like home than just talking to a virtual doctor
when we are sick.”
How do you balance your time
between academics and extracurriculars?
“I use my calendar on my phone a lot, I plan each week to make sure I am on
task and doing what I need to do. I also prioritize and make a list of what I
need to get done. When I have study time that is all I do, I don’t do anything
else during that time.”
“I use my planner a lot. At the beginning of the week, I always plan my entire
week. Just by being able to have study time, social time where I’m involved in
other clubs where I have executive positions, planning where I can focus on
each organization equally while making sure school is number one.”
Above; the senior counselor of
Sauti Uganda Mr Paul Kulyabingi , The president of Uganda Counselling
Association-Gaston Byamugisha and aspiring KYUSCA president Enock Mwesigwa pose
just after the debate.
As chair of the Association,
how will you remain fair to all members?
“I will remain fair to all members by listening to everyone’s opinion,
listening to everyone’s concerns. I am a big advocate for constructive
criticism and feedback, I want strong communication between myself and all the
representatives and all the students here. By keeping the open line of
communication and really getting to know everyone very well.”
“Letting each representative know I am here for you, I don’t want to put them
in a position where they can’t talk to me or go to someone else to get their
aspiring President Mr Gitta Emmanuel sharing a moment with the counselling
The voting day is to
take place on Thursday March 21, 2019 as the whole counselling students body
goes down to polls for voting who would be the next gaffer of the association
“For many years, we have been letting folks know that we
would love to host an important debate in the association election cycle,” Ms
Nakanwagi Carol said.