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Promoting the Rights of the Batwa Pygmies

This evaluation looked at MRG’s work with Batwa partners in the Great Lakes Region of Africa between 2001 and 2004. The work evaluated included capacity building, advocacy, and publications. The evaluators found that MRG’s programme had given staff in Batwa partner organisations and wider activists more knowledge of their rights and skills and confidence to lobby decision makers. The evaluator found that contact between Batwa activitists and Government officials had increased and cited instances where Batwa had lobbied or raised issues affecting them, where they would not have done so before.

“In most cases concerning the Batwa in Kisoro, local authorities go through [the local NGO] OUBDU. In the last three years, Batwa have started to approach local authorities without necessarily going through OUBDU. This is an encouraging sign. Of course, OUBDU is there for particularly complex cases. This change is put down to the influence of MRG training and workshops. As one partner expressed it: ‘Before, they had inferiority in their minds and were not participating fully in their own destiny.’”

Recommendations included that MRG consider very carefully how knowledge and skills are cascaded from those who attend training events to more members of the community, that MRG consider working with films or radio programmes as well as, or instead of, reports, and that MRG work harder to address the specific problems of Batwa women. We have designed, funded and are now running a new programme designed to build leadership skills among a much wider group of Batwa – especially young people. We have designed a new programme that specifically focuses on Batwa women which is partially funded. We are also now designing new work using film and audio with a range of partners and we are seeking funding for this.

Download evaluation: Promoting the Rights of the Batwa Pygmies.