Hi all, I’m sure many of you have viewed the video made by Invisible Children about Joseph Kony and the Lords Resistant Army (LRA). If not and you are interested in all the chatter about this video here is the link:
The Ssubi Foundation, for the past five years has worked in Northern Uganda, where the atrocities in the video took place during a 20 year civil war. The LRA moved out of Uganda in 2006 and into other African countries (Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic) where unfortunately they are still using the same violent tactics, mutilations, massacres, rape and child abduction to grow their army. Northern Uganda for the past five has been in a period of rebuilding. Imagine recovering from a 20 year civil war where everyone was living in internally displaced peoples camps and dependent on food aid. You would not only have to literally rebuild towns (schools, roads, medical clinics, hospitals, markets) but also heal from the injustice’s and loss of so many loved ones. It seems everyone in northern Ug was touched by this war and the effects on society will take time to recover and heal, but the human spirit is evident in most of the people you meet and from the actions happening on the ground. For Ssubi, we are focused on educational initiatives as we believe it will make for a better future. The education system in northern Ug is lagging behind the rest of the country, the infrastructure needs are vast (classrooms, latrines, teacher accommodations) and the quality of education needs serious improvement, the region does not score well on national exams and enrollment into secondary school is only 14%. This highlights the success and achievement of Winnie (from Palenga Primary School in Gulu District), who succeeded despite all the odds and received a 1st grade in national primary leaving exams. Winnie is now in secondary school in Kampala as a Ssubi sponsor child.
This summer we built a classroom block for Lukoto Primary School in northern Uganda (near where Konygrew up) and we were emotionally moved like never before. Here is the video to our work here this summer. This little community school, made up of 80 students and 3 community teachers in a dilapidated structure highlighted the starting point for so many children in northern Ug. But it also shone with hope, as under these conditions, the parents had come together and started a school, hired three teachers whom they paid monthly with food (ie. bag of beans). Together with the parents of this community school we cleared land, built classrooms and celebrated their new infrastructure in style with dancing and singing. Most exciting was the solar panel, lights and cell phone charger to light up the night and enable people to charge their phones without having to commute to the nearest town. The building was a catalyst with the community taking the school to the next level, as the community handed the land over the government and the government established Lukoto as a government school and has promised three permanent teaches to supplement the community teachers. Enrollment has already increased at the school and this year we hope to help build some teacher quarters.
Let us hope northern Ug continues to rebuild and Kony is stopped from harming others.