From 19 to 23 March 2018, the Strengthening Social Cohesion and stability in slum Populations (SSCoS) project held a one-week training for stakeholders on early response to violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism (VERLT). The aim of the training was to take away misconceptions and stereotypes about who can be radicalized and become a terrorist, and to equip participants with knowledge so as to respond early in case they are confronted with issues of VERLT. The training's objectives included: (i) understanding early response to VERLT; (ii) community engagement to understand and influence communal views; (iii) familiarity with institutional referral mechanisms and (iv) public reaction to Police engagement.
Participants included about 150 community leaders and members from the four target slums of the project, 55 Police officers and 35 Government officials drawn from internal security organization (ISO) and the National Technical Committee (NTC) that is currently working on the formulation of the Uganda counter terrorism policy, representatives from the Ministry of Education; Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development; and organizations working with youth and slums.
The training was well received by both the community and the Government officials and security forces and was very timely because the NTC will be engaging communities all over Uganda to formulate the national policy on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE).