RTR. Joseph B. Ssengooba REI Chair 2022
Ugandan Rotaractors started Rotaract Earth Initiative (REI) in April 2015 to plant 10,000 trees annually. “To solve the needs and concerns of the community and our globe,” Rotaract’s third purpose, this project addresses climate change, food insecurity, and primary healthcare issues.
REI’s 8th edition, “Focus on Impact,” took place in Masaka from October 7–9, 2022. The topic was meant to engage Rotaractors in environmental protection rather than just having fun. 180 Ugandans, Kenyans, Tanzanians, Rwandans, South Sudanese, and Sierra Leoneans attended REI Masaka.
To demonstrate the sustainable green city concept, our major project activity tripled this year. Local government, selected schools, and community environmental organizations collaborated on tree planting. Naluzaale Catholic Parish Land received almost 8,000 indigenous trees, while three secondary schools and one basic school received 1,000 fruit trees.
We held an annual Rotaract Climate Action Symposium to increase our impact. The St. Jude Secondary School Masaka Interact club organized this event on October 7, 2022, with the topic “Safe and Clean Energy Solutions for Sustainable Communities.” The symposium’s climate change speakers inspired the younger attendees. The conference included “forum theater” project execution in addition to presenters and subjects. St. Jude Senior Secondary School actors used music, dance, and theatre.
The team decided to teach primary and secondary school girls how to create and utilize reusable sanitary pads to support Rotary’s sanitation and healthy communities’ goals. We taught Kijjabwemi Secondary School menstruation health. The session drew 300 pupils and 50 Rotaractor trainers. We gave the girls 200 reusable pads and training. Young ladies and schoolgirls learned how to manufacture reusable sanitary towels using fabric and thread. We expect skilled people to aggressively manufacture sanitary towels with this capability.
We also took attendees to Eco Brixs to learn about plastic pollution, its causes, effects, sources, and future. Participants on the site visit heard about new goods, recycling regulations, and the effects of recycling, as well as plastic recycling machines. In the final Q&A sessions, we discussed potential areas of collaboration with recycling businesses and facilities as clubs, individuals, and businesses, current gaps in the fight against plastic pollution and recycling, stakeholders’ roles, and the long-term encouragement for working together and starting small to stop and combat plastic pollution.
The events provided free menstrual hygiene knowledge and skills to young women and girls in school and the community, despite the underlying physical, mental, and emotional obstacles they face. In addition, communities will benefit from the planted trees in a few years, thus they must be nurtured to maturity. Climate change will be mitigated by this.
Because REI is only hosted once a year, the few initiatives held were limited in scope and impact. On this point, the implementing organizations ask all relevant stakeholders to participate in restoring this country’s forest cover and addressing climate change issues while it is still early. This information will help concerned environmental protection organizations and Rotaract Uganda create an eco-friendly Pearl of Africa.