The philosophy behind CERESAV: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R72UOIb0bY)
Promote a survivor led model instead of a representative model.
Make survivors take the lead in the campaign against acid attack violence in Uganda.
Create support groups and mentor survivors to become ambassadors in their communities to eliminate stigma, discrimination and the associated stereotypes.
Promote a facilitator leadership model to mentor survivors in our pioneer support groups to take the lead in the campaign against acid attack violence in Uganda.
What steps did we take:
We spearheaded the first ever survivor-led organization, where survivors were put at the forefront to advocate for zero tolerance to acid attack violence. We pioneered the formation of survivor support groups to promote psychosocial support, survivor empowerment and community reintegration of survivors as proactive independent citizens.
We pioneered the first ever skills development training to promote economic sustainability, made links and connections to support the sustainability of survivors through promotion, marketing and participating in exhibitions.
We championed a survivor-led model and worked to bring different actors like CERESAV-USA, (now RISEcoalition) on board to work in the area of addressing acid attack violence in Uganda. This was done through lobbying, awareness visits and presentations which attracted especially the founders of RISE to engage in supporting acid attack violence survivors, not just in Uganda but globally.
We developed a lobbying strategy through awareness initiatives using media, workshops and conferences, public lectures and presentations to attract different actors to strengthen the voices against acid attack violence both nationally and internationally.
We have promoted global recognition from UK to Canada to USA and worldwide.
We are proud to say that our survivor empowerment approach has led to the formation of survivor ambassadors who are now forming different groups in Uganda, increasing awareness of the problem and changing the face of acid attack violence in Uganda.
We started the first ever survivor-led evidenced-based petition to the president of Uganda and the parliament, which resulted in the passing of the Toxic Chemical Prohibition Bill into law (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3553582/I-ll-make-scars-stars-Brave-women-survived-acid-attacks-Uganda-reveal-injuries-bid-prevent-attacks.html). Still a lot needs to be done, thanks to the emerging groups by our past support group ambassadors who are raising more voices, and increasing pressure where it will be effective.
We have set the ground standards for accountability and transparency, so that all work done in this area is evidence-based. We have mentored our past support group ambassadors who are doing the same in the field.
We championed the Asset-Based Community Driven (ABCD) model upon which all other emerging groups spearheaded by our ambassadors in the field are operating. This has strengthened the empowerment of survivors to live more proactive independent lives.
We spearheaded a lobbying and referral model where other service providers opened a platform to facilitate community reintegration of acid attack violence survivors. These included referrals to:
-Educational support resources
-Micro-loan support resources