Reconciling and reintegrating former child soldiers of Kony's Lord's Resistance Army with their communities.
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Oct 2011 21

Child soldiers graduate in Olwal: Speeches of gratitude

Posted in Featured, News

Our graduations of the most successful GRG groups are continuing!  Members from the Olwal group celebrated the conclusion of their GRG projects, which concluded with a training in how to successfully raise goats and earn income. For most of us here in North America, graduating is an individual accomplishment: “I put in the long hours studying and writing papers. I’m doing this so I can get a good job and eventually by a nice home and car.” But for the Olwal members it is also a community achievement; groups overcoming their differences and working together to build a sustainable future for all. Below are expressions of success and appreciation from three graduates:

Doreen

Doreen, a member of Pudi Cayo A since 2007, thanked GRG for its continued support. For her the formation of groups and constant collaboration greatly encouraged reconciliation and reintegration of returnees into their home communities. Through the GRG trainings, her capacity to manage projects has greatly increased and her economic situation has been greatly improved.

Jannan observed that at the beginning there was a lot of conflict and stigmatization among the groups, but through GRG’s support they learned working collectively reaped greater benefits. As a result of GRG’s training and collective efforts, Jannan is now able to grow more produce than his family can eat. He has begun selling his vegetables to the community and is looking for other markets to trade in. At the graduation, he showcased his agricultural successes to the delight of GRG staff.

Jannan showing off his produce

Vegetables for sale!

Nighty was abducted in 1983 when she was 9 years old. Seven years later, after escaping, she returned intolerant and belligerent, feeling capable of killing anyone who rubbed her the wrong way. Fortunately, through her work with GRG, and it’s strategy of reconciliation and communal projects she has become more accepting and understanding. Because of her active participation and attention to the needs of others, she has attained the position of Chairperson within her group, a role of leadership and advice giving.

Nighty shows the community her certificate

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