Jan 2016 28

How Community Theater changed a life.

Posted in News

by Jasper Kubasek


Doris Oroma recalls shrieks, shouting and mind-numbing terror as she tells us of the moment LRA rebels dragged her, then a 16-year-old babysitter, and her younger brother from their family home.

She describes a captivity defined by horrific beatings, hunger and constant fear. Asked why the rebels finally released her, she explains, “They were starting to take serious interest in my younger brother. I think that they feared that I might have the sense to try and escape with him, and they were turning him into a soldier for their war.”

When Doris finally returned home she found neither peace nor comfort. In a voice heavy with sadness she recalls, “I felt often as if people hated me or blamed me for what was going on.”

Turning in any direction that she could for support, she married another former abductee. His past haunted them both, as domestic violence became a norm in their household.

After years of struggling to find happiness and meaning in her life, Doris joined a Grassroots Reconciliation Group community group, and today her post-captive life has at last taken an upwards turn. It is with a particular appreciation that relates to us her experience with GRG Community Theater.

“Our group wrote a drama about domestic violence. My husband saw a scary reflection of his own behavior…After our performance, some of the men organized a meeting to talk about how a man should behave towards his wife. Today, I live more peacefully in my home.”

The last time she saw her younger brother, he was a 13-year-old boy carrying an automatic weapon. To this day, she does not know if he is dead or alive. It is this memory that she now struggles with most.

There are thousands of others in northern Uganda just like Doris, though many of them have not been helped. They continue to suffer from trauma, stigma, and conflict in the home.

GRG is currently expanding its Community Theater project, this time focusing on war-affected villages in Lamwo, Uganda’s northernmost district. With this expansion, we will continue to give others like Doris the tools they need to rebuild peace in their communities and homes.


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