Reconciling and reintegrating former child soldiers of Kony's Lord's Resistance Army with their communities.
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Jan 2015 21

OROMA DORISH SHARES HER EXPERIENCE RETURNING FROM THE LRA

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Each individual story from our group members who have escaped from the LRA and returned home is different but there are some common elements shared by all.  Many people abducted as children or young adults who were forced to join the LRA fear returning to their home communities where they can be blamed for the violence of the war and stigmatized or isolated.  That is why GRG’s model for reconciliation is to build mixed groups with returnees, victims and local community members.  Together these members work cooperatively to overcome the traumas of war and to address the problems in their home communities..

Oroma Dorish’s story of how GRG helped her after returning home to re-build her life gives an example of how GRG’s work is making an impact, and how community theatre has helped returnees to re-integrate and overcome violence after the war.

“Before GRG came, we were in this village living with no knowledge or help to re-build after the war. GRG came with many transformative ideas by teaching us, the former abductees together with those who could victimize us, and GRG taught us about curbing stigma and many livelihood activities especially agriculture.—Dorish

 

Dorish also told about her own experiences with domestic violence:

“GRG transformed us as a community even in my home I no longer experience domestic violence.  I and my husband are both returnees- we embraced the teachings and we have all changed-  we are united as husbands and wives.  My husband was in captivity for two years and me for six month we didn’t know each other while in the bush but when we came back home we decided we should be together because of our similar experiences and currently I have three children and two are in school and the youngest will begin when old enough.

Dorish took part in the community theatre, which lead to a major change in her life.

“Community Theatre helped me so much in my life.  There used to be violence in our home- my husband beat me and didn’t help working in the garden or for (paying) school fees.  When we got trained for Community Theatre our group wrote a drama about domestic violence.  My husband wasn’t one of the actors but we performed in the community and he saw a scary reflection of his own behavior.  I didn’t have to tell him to change- it was up to him to see and pick for himself the lesson of community theatre.  After we did our performance some of the men in our group organized a meeting so husbands and other men in our community can talk about how an Acholi man should behave and how violence in the home is not ok.  Today I live so peacefully with my husband and we are now united to send our children to school.  I thank GRG for bringing us community theatre because it has touched my life so much.

 

Dorish has become a leader in her group Kica Ber which meets in Abole village approximately 25 km from Gulu Town.  In the Acholi language Kica Ber means ‘mercy is good’.  She is now the vice-chairperson for the boli cup group (savings and loan) so she plays an important role in taking records of savings deposits and loans withdrawn or paid back.  She has also stepped forward to be an education tutor in 2015 as GRG begins its Functional Adult Literacy (FAL) project with Kica Ber.

Dorish’s own schooling was interrupted at Senior Four (Grade 10) when she was abducted, but she has her dream to get vocational training in tailoring and wants to teach other women and men in her group to read and write so they can also go for vocational training, gain basic math skills to improve their small businesses and to help their children with their homework.

Dorish has been able to transform her life and become a role model in her community.  Please support GRG to continue to empower LRA returnees like Dorish.  In 2015 GRG is working to expand our Community Theatre to give our groups the tools to transform their communities and to expand the impact of GRG’s trainings for peace-building and reconciliation beyond our groups to entire communities from school age children to the community elders.

 

 

 

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