- Who We Are
- What We Do
- Partnership Model
- Focus Areas
- Campaigns and Actions
- Public Policy
- UU College of Social Justice
- What You Can Do
- Ways to Give
- Get Involved
- Enlist Your Congregation
- Read Our Blog
- Shop in Our Store
- Media Center
- Volunteer Network Resources
- Campaign Resources
- Multimedia Resources
- Congregational Resources
Reestablishing Peaceful Communities in Uganda
Districts of Uganda affected by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).
The LRA is accused of widespread human rights violations, including mutilation, torture, rape, the abduction of civilians, the use of child soldiers, and several massacres.
In 2008, the entire rural population of northern Uganda — over 1.8 million Acholi people — had been living in squalid camps for up to 20 years as a result of the brutal war between the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan government.
The war destroyed homes, roads, and services, and the LRA inflicted terror on the region. They used brutal tactics to control territory, kidnap youth and turn them into soldiers, and force them to commit crimes against their own families and villages.
Who UUSC supports
- Acholi families displaced from their villages and torn from their traditions by the war
What UUSC does together with grassroots partners
Working with Caritas Gulu in Pader over the past five years, UUSC has helped over 20,000 people return home and reestablish their lives in 52 villages that model empowerment, foster community leadership, and actively build peace.
By first listening to people's needs, UUSC and Caritas provided concrete assistance that communities needed to rebuild:
- Supported ceremonies to lay the dead to rest
- Helped youth build homes for the elderly
- Fostered a revival of Acholi cultural traditions by offering musical instruments and dance costumes for youth in exchange for building houses for the elderly
- Supplied oxen teams to families to build community cohesion while planting food
- Supported literacy training for women
- Distributed goats to widows and widowers
- Linked communities to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology development and design lab to help people establish innovative, cost-effective, and relevant technologies focused on food processing, water, and tools
- Helped design and build bicycle ambulances
- Supported savings and loan programs for women
- Enabled the music groups to perform in radio shows, encouraging people to return home
Rebuilding takes more than brick and mortar; communities need to rebuild their leadership and cohesion after war. The following trainings and activities supported by Caritas and UUSC helped build the capacity of the communities to address their own problems and resolve them:
- Training in dialogue and discussion skills to address community challenges
- Leadership training for people to advocate for their communities
- Conflict resolution for land issues
- Reinforcement of Acholi values through music and dance
Last updated: March 21, 2013
Martha Thompson, manager of UUSC's Rights in Humanitarian Crises Program, weighs in on the Invisible Children Kony 2012 campaign and shares stories from UUSC's work in northern Uganda that have shaped our approach there.
Jennifer Galvao, an intern in UUSC's College of Social Justice, discusses the film Invisible Children, and tries to place herself in the shoes of a child soldier.