Ten days, to general elections, CCEDU with support from UN Women, has mobilized over 80 youths in a campaign intended to encourage them to turn up to vote in big numbers on January 14, 2020.
The engagement is part of CCEDU’s voter mobilization campaign dubbed Mulembe Gwa Digital, Beera Mu Class, developed to engage the youth through ways that appeal to them. 40 of the youths from Mukono University participated via zoom technology while 45 were engaged offline.
Mulembe Gwa Digital campaign is largely through technology, language and images (visual/audio). The campaign utilizes peer-to-peer communication across multi–media platforms to speak emotively and influence young people to positively to appreciate, participate and engage in the 2021 elections.
According to Charity Kalebo the Executive Director, CCEDU is also utilizing popular characters on the entertainment scene, online influencers and trendsetters to speak to the youth about their right to vote. Some of these peers are NTV’s Josephine Karungi and NBS’s Samson Kasumba.
Charity says the engagement is timely because youth and women in Uganda have been marginalized, stereotyped and relegated to spectator positions in political activities. She says, the male youths have been stigmatized as ‘bandits and wrong doers’ during elections and political peak seasons and while the female youth have not been spared by sexist tendencies being ‘closed out’ from key spaces for participation through fear, monetization and demobilization based on some gender dimensions like one’s marital status, among others.
“The 2021 electoral processes have seriously undermined the participation of young people who have largely been labeled as destructive” Charity said.
“CCEDU views the youths as very impressionable, especially the category between 18 – 24 years. The 30% resides in urban areas (cities, municipalities, towns, trading centers) they are trendy, information-driven and are also viewed as influencers by their peers in the semi-urban and rural areas and this is the reason the campaign is reaching them specifically” She added.