“Our country is no stranger to violence and instability, our past and present is characterised with bloodshed from all corners. From the military coups of the 70s, through the political wars of the 80s to the terrorist acts of the LRA, ADF in the 90s and early 2000s and the recent electoral violence and Bijambiya incidents in Masaka sub-region, Uganda has seen it all,” says Hassan Ndugwa, founder of Uganda Muslim Youth Development Forum (UMYDF).
He started the forum after surviving the July 2010 Al-Shabaab bombing in Kampala. The words were part of his speech at the Inaugural Peace Gala & Awards on Tuesday at Kampala Serena Hotel.
The Most Reverend John Baptist Odama was recognised and awarded ‘The Peace Awards 2021- Lifetime Service Award’ in absentia as part of the 14-category maiden edition.
Sadat Zagah Zziwa took home the ‘Youth, Peace & Security Award. “Tonight breaks the silence of all unsung heroes all over the world. For seven years, I have been inspiring the ghetto people to take lead. The world has chosen tonight to award me and appreciate me for the first time in my peace work, thank you. I am so honoured ladies and gentlemen,” Zziwa said in his acceptance speech and dedicated the award to young women that struggle to make ends meet in the ghetto.
The awards are anchored on the idea of celebrating grassroots, national, and international actors with outstanding achievements and contributions to the fields of peace, security, and humanitarian work.
And as Ndugwa added, peace is the foundation for development, observing that violence is an obsolete method of resolving conflicts.
“We have the power, the knowledge and resources to work for a more peaceful future. These are the inaugural peace and security awards that are premised on the need to celebrate individuals and institutions that have made sacrifices and exceled in promoting peace and working towards ensuring we live in peaceful communities,” he explained.
The Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Kampala, Christopher Kraff applauded the critical work in establishing the ideals of promoting peace, pluralism and tolerance and addressing the root causes of violence.
The event was supported by the Finn Church Aid and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. In attendance were peace clubs of Katwe Noor Sec School, Kasanga Seed School, Kololo Senior Sec. School, Old Kampala Sec School, Extremely Together, the Civil Society Coalition Against Violent Extremism, the Muslim Students Association of Uganda among others.
Sadat Zagah Zziwa- Youth, Peace & Security Award.
Merry Heart Comedy- Youth, Peace & Security Award – Institutional Category World Vision- Children, Peace & Security Award –Institutional Category Mother’s Union - Namirembe Diocese: Women, Peace & Security Award –Institutional Category Jolly Andruvile Okot- Women- Peace & Security Award – Individual Category African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims- Distinguished Award for Service to Victims of Torture Ebenezer Global Hub Limited- Institutional Category- Distinguished Award for Service to Refugees and IDPs Simon Marot Touloung- Distinguished Award for Service to Refugees and IDPs – Individual Category Victor Ochen- Peace & Security Innovators Award Kabanda David- Human Rights Medal Rt. Rev. Dr. David Zac Niringiye- Olive Branch Missionaries of Charity Convent Namugongo- Humanitarian Award Rt. Rev. Bishop Macleod Baker Ochola II- Religion, Peace & Security Award The Most Rev. John Baptist Odama- The Peace Awards 2021- Lifetime Service Award.