Reverend Gideon Byamugisha joins a panel discussion at the IGD

Recently, Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) joined a horde of stakeholders for the intergenerational dialogue under the theme; Expanding Possibilities: Lifestyle, Innovation and Power. The Intergenerational Dialogue (IGD), an annual one-day high-level advocacy platform looks to fosters structured conversations on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) issues affecting adolescents and young people in Uganda.

Hosted by Reach A Hand Uganda (RAHU) in collaboration with other partners like RHU, IT brought together young people, government officials (ministry technocrats), policymakers, leaders (opinion, religious, cultural and political leaders) development partners, media and civil society among others to deliberate on a range SRHR issues, policies and campaigns. We thought therefore, for purposes of continued discussion, we would highlight some of the conversations that stood out, starting with the Question and Answer session we had with Reverend Gideon Byamugisha. What do you think about the IGD?

I think what happened at the 5th inter generation dialogue is very important. We can see we are making strides in being frank and open to each other and in learning each other because we need to learn the language and the feelings of each generation so that no one feels boxed in. Today there was a very frank discussion about those issues.

What happens as a take way home for me is for me to say so how do I convene my fellow religious leaders so that we continue dialoguing on these religious issues because it’s not a onetime thing, for something that has taken 40 years can not be addressed in one day. This has set the ball rolling on issues of sexual reproductive health, teenage pregnancy, STIS, HIV. These are issues that God has helped us with knowledge, science with experience. There are so many organisations with supportive policies from Government, so we need to ask “kiki ekiganye, where is the gap and then we address?

I think for me one take away message I have got is that we have messages for teenage at risk and teenagers vulnerable. We know what to tell them but we are struggling with what to tell the gate keepers. So that message has to be thought through in away that is not cajoling, condemning or blaming. A Message that affirms them, supports them and empowers to do more and do better.

We come from a generation which assumes that what is right is safe. But what is our reality? We want heaven, but we must also strive for healthy and long life! We must encourage healthy choices.