For its inaugural conference on the family held between May 21 and 22 2018 at Uganda Christian University-Mukono; the AfriChild Centre proudly knotted many a milestone. This conference was purposefully designed to celebrate and affirm the declaration of 2017 and 2018 as the year of the family in Uganda. It was held under the theme: ‘The Family in the 21st Century: Strong? In Crisis? Changing? What is the future of this foundational unit of life in the community and nation?’

HonJanetMusevenispeakstoparticipantsduringtheopeningceremonyoftheconferenceThe conference’s objective was to provide a platform for discussion among key stakeholders such as religious, cultural and political leaders on how to mainstream family issues at policy levels. AfriChild Centre financed the conference to a tune of Shs.127 million.

The conference was opened by Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni, the first lady of Uganda and Minister of Education and Sports. Mrs. Museveni told the over 500 participants present that the challenge confronting us today was defining what an African family is.

“We have adopted too much of western ideals that they have muddied what families are. I look forward to the outcome of this conference and it’s my prayer that we come up with guidelines of what a true family should be,” said Mrs. Museveni.

Among the day’s key speakers was Mrs. Margaret Kakande, AfriChild’s board chairperson who urged participants to prioritize education for their children. To her, investing in a child’s education is equivalent to investing in his or her future. She also encouraged parents to harness strong parent-teacher relationships in order to create a shared responsibility towards the child.

“Communicate regularly with the teachers in order to gain insights into your child’s behavior and progress. From this, you can identify how to better support your child’s development at home,” she urged participants.

In his keynote address, Prof. Sam Luboga recommended that parents ought to develop lasting bonds with their children through communicating encouragement, praying witParticipantslistenintoapresentationfromProfAdamsh them, eating at least one meal with them daily and spending time with them.

Other key speakers at this forum include Prof. Mwambutsya Ndebesa- a renowned academician; Ms. Emily Ajambo from the ministry of Gender and Hon. Peace Mutuuzo, the state minister for gender.

Day two of the conference had several paper presentations from various participants. Key topics of discussion included: marital rape and the law; capitalism and its effect on families and changing family support towards elderly persons.

Key outcomes of the Conference:

With the completion of the conference, a communique on the way forward and will be disseminated widely among key stakeholders.