Francis Opio, Program Director (Head of Mission)
A native of Gulu, Francis experienced the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) war first hand. Having witnessed the suffering of his own people, Francis was committed to creating a more just and peaceful community in northern Uganda. From 2011-2013, Francis worked at Grassroots Reconciliation Group (GRG) as a program associate/officer. During his tenure as program associate/officer, he ensured programs aimed at rebuilding lives had meaningful impact on communities in need. In 2016, after his Masters in International Peace Studies, Francis rejoined GRG taking on his toughest assignment – as Program Director where he is leading the team at GRG, Gulu office in the design and implementation of programs aimed at reintegration and reconciliation of former LRA ex-combatants and returnees.
Amony Magdalene Fatima – Accountant
Maggie is GRG’s Accountant. Before working with GRG, Maggie worked with the Gulu Municipal Council. Maggie completed her Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA Specialization in Accounting) in 2014 from Gulu University. In 2009-2010 Maggie designed and opened a vocational skills training centre in her village in Kitgum as part of the USAID-funded Teen Star program.
Oturi Denish – Program Associate
Currently a long distance learning student of Uganda Martyrs University, Oturi Denish is working towards a Bachelor degree in Science and Organic Agriculture (BSc). He holds a diploma in Sustainable Agriculture and a Grade III Teacher Certificate. Denish’s extensive community-based field experience includes working for ACF in food security and livelihood projects and as a field assistant for its Purchase for Progress (P4P) project. In-between he also joined ACTED Uganda as a community based facilitator. Denish has two daughters Marion and Apolo.
Alany Joel – Program Associate
Alany Joel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Development Studies (BA) from Uganda Christian University and a Master degree (MA) in Sustainable Peace and Conflict Management from Uganda Martyrs University. His research focused on the possibility of transforming war memories by bridging the past and the future of post-war communities through memorization and reconciliation. During the conflict in northern Uganda, Alany volunteered for the German humanitarian agency Arbeiter Samariter Bund (ASB). Here he was supporting the internally displaced people of Lango sub-region. Alany has also worked at the Uganda National Commission for UNESCO promoting human rights and peace education in the region. Joel’s hobbies are watching political documentaries and news. Joel and his wife are expecting their first child in October 2014. Stay tuned for photos.
Okidi Richard Owor – Counselor (Trauma and Reconciliation)
Okidi Richard Owor is a graduate from Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi with a First Class Bachelor Degree in Counseling Psychology. In addition, Richard holds a Diploma in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Apostles of Jesus Institute of Philosophy Nairobi-Kenya. Before joining GRG, he worked for many years as a teacher in many schools but more importantly with Caritas Counseling and Training Institute Gulu Arch-diocese. Recently,he has been working as a Guidance Counselor for Keyo Community Polytechnic. He is very pleased to be hired by GRG and above all to be the first full-time Counselor with GRG, and the opportunity to develop a new Group Counseling program to address the psychological needs for GRG’s groups. He will also develop a contextual trauma therapy model. Richard is a proud father, an aspiring entrepreneur, and devoted husband.
Martin Kilama– Program Associate
Kilama Martin is a born of Kiryandongo District in Western Uganda. He holds a National Diploma in Accountancy from Uganda College of Commerce, Aduku. He has worked with several Non-Governmental Organizations like Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED-Uganda), Save the Children and Justice and Peace Commission where he attained vast experience in administration and program work. Now as a program associate at GRG Kilama is helping build peace in communities affected by conflict
Norah Brinkerhof – Intern, Psycho-social counselling
Norah is an intern in GRG’s Psycho-social counseling program. She received an M.A. in Clinical Psychology in 2014 from the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Norah plans to develop herself in the trauma area of psychology and decided therefore to go to Uganda and gain some experience in the field. She works directly with GRG’s Psycho-social counselor Richard Okidi to reach out to the communities and provide them with trauma counseling among other counseling topics.
Abalo Betty Paito – Administrative Assistant
Betty studied a Diploma in Secretarial and Information Management at Gulu University. Currently working at GRG as an administrative assistant, she’s very supportive of her colleagues contributing significantly to the success of GRG’s reintegration and reconciliation programs in northern Uganda.
Our Team of Trainers
GRG benefits from engagement of a multidisciplinary training team to deliver high quality technical guidance for groups. GRG has sought out individuals from a range of backgrounds to find the perfect candidates for each training activity, from agricultural students at Gulu University, to local business people, to former beneficiaries who can share their experience with new groups. This has enabled us to deliver tailored, high quality training in varied areas of our work, from community microfinance, to traditional dance, or organic pineapple production.