Jul 2016 22

GRG’s Community Theater Project Highlights Experience of Children in Conflict

Posted in News

By Joel Alany

Recently, GRG’s Warib Cingwa group gave a special performance addressing the remarkable fusion of the fates of children taken into captivity by northern Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The performance, under the theme “A Song of Evil Past and Hope for the Future”, was staged under a mango tree and involved a combination of performances, including drama, poetry and music. The performances emphasized that when adults wage war, children pay the highest price.

Children are the primary victims of armed conflict, targeted by and used as instruments of armed groups. They may be orphaned, abducted to work as child soldiers, deprived of education and health care, left with deep emotional scars and trauma or even killed. Girls face additional risks, particularly sexual violence and exploitation.

“We suffered during the war, but our suffering came to an end. We are now focusing on rebuilding our lives, and we remember the past sufferings in rightful ways,” says Rose Oyela, Chairperson of the Warib Cingwa group. Rose was abducted with her elder sister during the war. She recounts that while in captivity, her sister was forced to become a wife to former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen. Rose’s sister has never returned, leaving Rose wondering whether she is alive or dead, which is traumatizing for Rose.

At the end of the performance, characters highlighted how the support of GRG has helped reintegrate and reconcile community members. The audience acknowledged the artists with a standing ovation.

GRG thanks the group for this unique and unforgettable event and extends its gratitude to the donors who funded this community theater project.

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