A few days ago together with a group of bloggers and storytellers we drove over 300 kilometers to Lira District in Northern Uganda to document stories of war victims.
As concerned citizens of Uganda we are aware that even though the war in Northern Uganda ended over six years ago, some of the effects of Kony’s brutality will never go away. Evelyn Akullo and her mother Mildred Omara survived narrowly when the rebels set their house (grass thatched hut) ablaze about 6 years ago. Even after numerous medical surgeries the duo sustains big scars from the severe burns.
As we excavate more stories of the victims of the war we learn that Kony remains the least on the agenda’s of the victims.
Evelyn is now back in school and her biggest worry is whether she will ever achieve her dream. Her dream is to become an engineer. She believes that her determination can get her there but she worries about the school fees. Her mother’s right hand and part of the neck remains paralyzed which makes it hard to bank on her for school fees.
Bosco Okema is a former child soldier – he regrets the things he was forced to do while in captivity. He escaped from captivity and he is one of the many returnees who got a chance to go back to school and later get a job. He is now the Administrator at Action for Community Development – Uganda. This non-profit organisation supports sustainable agriculture through giving seeds (ground nuts, soya beans extra) to war victims in different parts of Northern Uganda.
Morris Okello is a peasant farmer, his wife was 50 years old when the rebel abducted her. She was later voluntarily released from captivity and she returned home. Morris’ family is one of the 50 beneficiaries from Action for Community Development’s program.
Morris’ farm is his sole source of livelihood and this has helped him to support his family and send some of his children back to school. “What he did was actually very very bad, I have heard where they would even roast people in pots in some other adjacent villages there. capturing small children….. those were very very bad thing” Morris laments. He says that he doesn’t see capturing Kony as a priority because Kony is not in Northern Uganda at the moment. He recommends more sustainable ways of supporting the people of Northern Uganda.
to be continued….