Reconciling and reintegrating former child soldiers of Kony's Lord's Resistance Army with their communities.
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Sep 2016 21

‘Participating in a GRG group changed my life’

Posted in News

By Francis Opio

“It’s unbelievable. When I returned I had nothing. Till GRG started working with us in Atiak me and my husband struggled to make both ends meet, and keep my family of seven- two sons, two daughters and ourselves and four boys of my late brother who passed on during the LRA war,” said Aromorach, wife of Okema.

“Today our lives have changed, thanks to GRG for taking the initiative to find us in this rural place, introducing their programs and to us all for participate in them. We didn’t have the morale to participate in, for example, the crop production project because we thought our land was barren and not usable because of the bombs and other war weaponry that were dropped on it during the war.

“Though we had this fear, GRG still came and introduced their program ideas. We had mixed feelings not sure whether to engage in their farming project or not. Besides, many of my colleagues were used to handouts given to them during their stay in the internally displaced camps. They didn’t imagine themselves farming again. However, we decided to give it a try with the motivation given to us by GRG staff. I recall one of the staff saying, ‘GRG gives you the hook so you can go fish whenever you want to eat fish. It doesn’t give you fish itself.’ When we agreed to voluntarily participate, GRG divided us into groups and empowered us, through training and exchange visits, with improved farming techniques.

“In addition to learning exchange visits, we were given many trainings on various ways of farming to ensure we get good yields—from how we can space the crops, to post-harvest handling and marketing. But still we were unsure whether it would change our lives. After the first harvest, I recall we got 15 bags of sorghum. After we sold ten bags and injected the money into our village savings and loan association, my joy knew no bounds! Since then I have not struggled to keep my family. From the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) I have taken loans and sent my children to school, my husband and I got married and now own a cow as well,” Aromorach proudly mentioned.

As she ended her speech, she thanked her fellow group members for being patient and working hard as a group on all the projects that GRG provided since 2011. She also encouraged other community members to always work together, emphasizing some of the benefits she got from participating in GRG’s group activities.

 

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