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Minister Hudson Abason Oleru Unveils Comprehensive Plan for Veterans Welfare and Integration

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By Gad Masereka

Kampala, January 25, 2024 – State Minister for Veterans Affairs, Hon. Hudson Abason Oleru, addressed the media at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala, unveiling a detailed plan for the welfare and integration of military veterans in the country. The press release highlighted initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs to address the challenges faced by military veterans and ensure their successful transition into civilian life.

Minister Oleru began by emphasizing the importance of recognizing and appreciating the sacrifices made by military veterans in bringing peace and stability to Uganda. She acknowledged the commander-in-chief, President Yoweri Museveni, and all armed forces, including gallant soldiers and military veterans who played a crucial role in maintaining peace.

The minister provided a comprehensive overview of the initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs:

  1. Legal Aid Clinic: A legal aid clinic has been established to assist veterans with various legal issues, including land disputes and other legal challenges. Minister Oleru reported that the clinic has successfully handled 350 cases within a year, providing crucial support to veterans facing legal troubles.
  2. Home-Based Outreach Program: Recognizing the challenges faced by veterans in their villages, a home-based outreach program has been initiated to reach out to vulnerable, sickly, and isolated veterans for rehabilitation and medical support. The program has already assisted 171 individuals in need.
  3. Public Information Campaigns and Outreach: The ministry has been actively engaging with veterans through public information campaigns and a weekly interactive radio program on Star FM. This program aims to inform veterans about available support, mobilize them, and promote economic transformation and mindset change.
  4. Peer Education Program: To address the issue of veterans isolating themselves, a peer education program has been introduced to provide psychosocial support, behavioral change, and peer-to-peer support. Four districts have already begun participating in this program.
  5. Transition Assistance Programs: The ministry is working on transition assistance programs, including employment opportunities, vocational training, and health and mental wellness support, to help veterans settle into civilian life.

Minister Oleru emphasized the need for military veterans to be recognized as a special interest group in all national government programs, considering their unique challenges and vulnerabilities after leaving active service. She called upon citizens and stakeholders to support the outlined strategies for the welfare and integration of military veterans.

The press conference provided valuable insights into the ongoing efforts and future plans of the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs to ensure the well-being and successful integration of Uganda’s military veterans.

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