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Monday, March 12, 2012

Kasese United Humanist Association attends the Uganda Humanist Association Conference 2012

Kasese United Humanist Association was among the organizations that was invited to attend the just concluded Uganda Humanist Association (UHASSO) Conference/General Assembly.
The theme of the event was HUMANISM FOR A FREE AND PROSPEROUS AFRICA, The conference was attended by individual members of Uganda Humanist Association plus some Local Member Organizations who are affiliated with Uganda Humanist Association. Among the member organizations that attended were HALEA represented by Kato Mukasa, Kasese United Humanist Association based in Kasese,Western Uganda which was represented by Bwambale Robert and The School Head Teacher of Kasese Humanist Primary School Mr.Masereka David, Ugand Humanist Effort to Save Women represented by Betty Nassaka,Aggie Ojera, WOFEWO represented by Annet Nalunga and an Organization based in Entebbe that deals with rehabilitation of HIV/AIDS victims based in Entebbe headed by Mark Baguma.
It was an interesting conference that lasted for two days.
The conference venue was at Platinum Royale Hotel, Busega , Kampala pictured below:

The conference was opened by the outgoing Chairman of Uganda Humanist Association Mr. Peter Sikirinya
who welcomed and thanked all the individual members and member organizations of UHASSO to have come in big numbers and participate in the conference.
The Chairman welcomed on the floor Mr Deo Ssekitoleko who works as the East African Representative of IHEU. In his brief speech, Mr Deo greeted the participants and explained to them the Humanist Philosophy plus highlighting on what the IHEU stands for,why it was created plus the roles it does.
There were a number of Speakers invited to the conference to talk on some subjects and in accordance to the agenda the First Speaker  was Mr. Adrian Juuko, a reknowned Lawyer and Human rights Activist who talked about Human rights,Democracy, Corruption and the open society. He presented a good document in which he discussed about the dangers of corruption, human rights abuses and violations, open societies and closed societies and authoritarianism and at the end of the day,we learnt that a free and open society is the best that we embrace if Africa or Uganda is to develop.
Adrian Juuko is seen below discussing his topic

Another presentation was about Women and Humanism  where the Speaker talked about Women, Sexism and Prostitution which was presented by Betty Nassaka, Annet Nalunga and Susan Nambeejja where they all talked about the possible causes of prostitution, possible strategies to help out prostitutes and solutions to cub young children from getting lured into this kind of risky business. They noted out that though prostitution has disadvantages, it also has advantages and actually the government should ensure they devise solutions on how they can handle out this issue on fairly terms.
We also had a wonderful presentation from Dr. Joseph Kisakye who discussed about the Humanist Schools of Uganda in its attempts to offer a balanced liberal and secular education. He pointed out that initially the Education system set up in Uganda was  by the colonialists and they could only allow the learners to learn, cram and pass and could not stress on the learners to think critically or given chance to ask questions. He emphasized on the Scientific Method as a means of promoting free thought. He said also that there is a need to introduce as well vocational skills training in Humanist Schools. Uganda has so far 3 secondary Humanist Schools and one Humanist Primary School.

Another interesting Presentation was on Exploitations by Superstition and the Rationalist Alternative presented by James Onen of Free thought Kampala who talked about the various forms of superstitious beliefs. This topic of superstition was also talked on by John Mutumba and Dr. Lastone Bagetenda who are all medical practitioners who presented a well researched document where some times the locals who are superstitionists go on misleading the people about certain curable diseases by science are said to be cured after performing rituals or praying to spirits. at the end of the day they encouraged and motivated us to embrace science for it has got the answers.

There were also other discussants who talked about Peace and Unity in Diversity. On day 2,there was a video conference via Skype where the participants listened to Debbie Goddard of the Afro Americans for Humanism (AAH) who talked about the works of AAH. In a closing remarks of the video conference, Deo Ssekitoleko informed AAH about the activities of UHASSO and requested AAH to put in place a program where volunteers could be brought into the country from USA to come and engage in constructive work by volunteers to work in Ugandan communities for the betterment of Humanity.
At the end of the day there was the UHASSO General Assembly where only the members participated in the Assembly proceedings which involved dissolution of the old executive and putting in place a new line up in positions of Board of Trustees, Ammending certain clauses in the UHASSO articles of Association and finally passing or instituting the new constitution. Below are some more photo highlights taken in the course of the 2 day conference.

Aidan Sekatawa and Gerald Musoke above

A panel of Speakers in the just concluded UHASSO CONFRENCE 2012

Bwambale Robert is seen sitted on the extreme left

Participants listen attendively at the video conferencing between Debbie / Bob churchill and UHASSO Members

Dr. Sylvia Tamale also attended the conference on its second day and she gave us words of wisdom, she said that colonialists are to blame for they taught us to learn and cram instead of applying critical thinking, she said Humanism is deep rooted in us even before arrival of the colonialists and also pointed at the dangers of religion.

Kasese Uited Humanist Association and Kasese Humanist Primary School is so appreciative of what UHASSO is doing and we remain looking forward for a cordial mutual relationship for the continual promotion of the Humanist Philosophy on the African soil and Uganda in particular.
Long live UHASSO,  long live the Humanist Philosophy, Long live the Scientific Alternative!

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