Universal Coalition of Affirming Africans (UCAA)
Founded in 2017, UCAA was the first faith-based organisation established to advocate for the inclusion of the most marginalised groups of people in Uganda using faith-based approaches. This was after the realization that marginalised groups are deprived of their human rights and treated unfairly in our communities, using religion as a justification. Being that, diversity and Inclusion (D&I) seems to be subjectively understood by a reasonable number of the Ugandan citizenry, there is still a lack of a deeper understanding of the concept and its applicability in the day-to-day life. Ugandan society continues to be divided and eaten up by discrimination of different groups of people based on their differences. Different groups of people continue to be pushed to the margins.
"Using faith-based strategies to promote Inclusion and human rights for all"
We influence, partner and collaborate within policymakers, government agencies, human rights organizations, faith based organisations, women’s organizations, media platforms, traditional and religious leaders, regional and international human rights mechanisms, and donors that work on human rights, social-economic justice, faith-based strategies and marginalized groups.
UCAA PROFILE SUMMARY
Who We Are
We are a network of inclusive faith leaders, people of faith and faith based organisations established in 2017 to advocate for the rights of vulnerable and marginalized persons in Uganda.
We use a faith-based approach to advocate for the inclusion of marginalised persons. That is, we generate knowledge on the interlink between faith and human rights and use it to advocate for the rights of marginalized groups, build the capacity of communities, faith leaders and other stakeholders, psychosocial support and social economic empowerment.
A transformed society where religion and faith are used to promote love and inclusion for all.dti.
To advocate for the well-being and respect of human rights of marginalised communities through mindset change using religion and faith-based strategies.
- To conduct research in order to support advocacy and influence mindset change amongst all communities and policymakers.
- To provide pastoral care and psychosocial support to address the mental health challenges for marginalised communities.
- To strengthen the capacities of marginalised communities and other stakeholders using a holistic approach to effectively promote the rights of marginalised persons.
- To build a strong and progressive network of affirming faith leaders and organisations to further advocate for an inclusive society.
- To strengthen the capacity and systems of UCAA-UG to deliver quality human rights programs in Uganda.
- Key populations
- People Living with disabilities
- Increased support, inclusion and acceptance of marginalised persons as demonstrated by 61 religious leaders, 33 policymakers and over 500 community members that we engaged who are now champions of inclusion.
- Created awareness and understanding of the rights of marginalised persons among 115 faith leaders and 21 faith-based organizations.
- Developed research and analysis on the rights of marginalised persons from a faith-based angle
- Strengthened systems and structures of the organization through capacity-building training, development of key organizational policies and implementation of the developed policies; this supported the efficiency, relevance, and responsiveness of the organization to members.
Thematic areas for the 2024-2028 strategy
The UCAA Strategic Plan 2024-2028 seeks to scale up its work and achieve the above objectives through the following programmes:
- Thematic Area 1: Knowledge Management and Advocacy
- Thematic Area 2: Faith, Empowerment and Solidarity
- Thematic Area 3: Socio-economic Justice
- Thematic Area 4: Institutional Development
Goal and Strategic Objectives for 2024-2028
“Empowered marginalised persons enjoying their rights in an inclusive society”
Strategic objective 1: To generate knowledge and information on the faith-related realities of marginalized communities to inform advocacy for their rights and well-being.
Strategic Objective 2: To build the capacity of marginalized groups and faith-based leaders to use faith-based strategies to dismantle the bias created by the different faith denominations against marginalized groups.
Strategic objective 3: To improve the economic well-being of marginalized persons through improving their social interactions and economic activities
Strategic objective 4: To build a strong organization with motivated staff, sustained funding and vibrant financial, administrative and operation systems.
According to the 2014 Uganda census report, 99% of Ugandans are affiliated to some religion. For example, 39% of Ugandans are Roman Catholics, 32% Anglican, 11% Pentecostal Christian, 14% Muslim, while other religious groups and those with no religious affiliation constitute 5%. Thus, religion influences almost all aspects of the life of all people in Uganda. That is why it has been easy to radicalize Ugandans, and authenticate hate and discrimination through religious leaders by right-wing Christians from the global north. This force was behind the tabling and passing of the Anti-homosexuality Act 2014 and consequently the Anti homosexuality Act 2023. Unfortunately, these religious statistics also include sexual and gender minorities who find themselves between a rock and a hard place as their lives are stifled in toxic anti-gay religious traditions condemning themselves for something God will never take away from them. In the end, some of them have contemplated or even committed suicide as many continue to be conflicted between who they are and their faith values.
Envisioned change - Intervention logic
STRATEGIC DIRECTION 2024-2028
The overall change we want to see is “Empowered marginalised persons enjoying their human rights in an inclusive society.” The ability of marginalized groups to fully enjoy their human rights is a function of their capacity to influence change in the mindsets of faith and religious leaders, duty bearers and the community towards protecting their rights and increasing their access to services. It further depends on their financial capacity to meet the basic necessities of life, the capacity of UCAA to provide evidence and direction on the use of faith-based strategies, the strength of an affirming faith movement to dismantle myths, and the capacity of UCAA to support marginalized groups achieve these.