Innovative projects for refugees, former child soldiers, and host communities in northern Uganda
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Aug 2011 31

Graduating the best! First GRG grads in Anaka

Posted in Featured, News

Graduation at Anaka Nyer Giri Peko Lobo (Scorning at the world’s problems)

After 5 years of partnership, our groups are now able to stand on their own – running their own businesses, helping vulnerable community members, and reconciling with their communities.

GRG proudly hosted the graduation of its group, Nyer Giri Peko Lobo (Scorning at the world’s problems) in Anaka. In attendance were the LCIII or Mayor of Anaka Town Council, the graduating group and Staff of GRG. Speeches were given by the local council chairman, Santos Ongom (GRG Program Manager) and Francis Ocaka, Chairman of the Anaka group.

The Anaka group members expressed pride in themselves for having come together as a group, working through problems and finding solutions that were acceptable to all members. More than one former child soldiers expressed thanks to GRG for facilitating their reintegration into the community and for the ease with which they are now able to move throughout their community:

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Otto Alfred was abducted by the LRA and spent four years living in the bush. When he returned to live in the Anaka IDP camp, he was called names like “olum olum” (meaning someone from the bush). With help from GRG over the last four years, he said “atye ki kero me tic ki luwota kacel pi kony ma ango ki bot GRG” meaning he has been able to work with people in the community because of the support he and other group members have received from GRG. Alfred is currently a member of the committee responsible for looking after the pigs and even houses the pigs and other community projects on his land. He expressed his thanks to GRG for supporting these and many other projects.

Members also expressed their appreciation for the GRG investment in trainings, seeds, tools and pigs that have helped to stabilize the income of the group and through bol li cup allowed individual members to invest in their own small businesses and land purchases:
Ayat Margaret has been a member of GRG’s ANAKA Nyer Giri Peko Lobo (Scorning at the world’s problems) group for four years. At the graduation she stood and introduced herself to the guests of honor and GRG staff. When she first joined the group, she earned less than $1 a day selling vegetables that she grew. After GRG training in small business skills she was able to borrow money from the GRG initiated micro-finance project called bol li cup (village saving scheme) and now is engaged in the small enterprise of fish mongering. She now earns $4 a day, and with continuous contributions to the village savings scheme (bol li cup) Ayat Margaret has also acquired a piece of land in Anaka Town, Nwoya district.

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