GRG’s mission is to facilitate the transition process to help LRA ex-combatants and their war-affected communities to rebuild their lives and improve their socio-economic status through holistic, culturally appropriate and locally designed projects.
When child soldiers come home, they face tremendous stigma and trauma. Our programs are designed to transform that situation. At GRG, we use a holistic, bottom-up approach to the community reintegration of ex-combatants. We work with groups of 20-30 people composed half of ex-combatants and half of other community members, and we have worked with over 1,000 participants thus far. We support groups to examine their own problems, and to come up with their own solutions.
We have five main types of projects:
- Trauma support
- Community microfinance
- Cultural activities
Each group designs its own projects. The group first develops its own multi-year development plan, which may include a range of different types of projects to support the individuals’ and groups’ development. Our three objectives throughout these interventions are:
- To promote the reconciliation and psycho-social healing between ex-combatants and their war-affected communities;
- To facilitate the economic recovery of ex-combatants and post-conflict communities through support to needs-based, community-driven livelihoods projects; and
- To support ex-combatants and other community members to overcome the trauma of war and to become role models and leaders.
We are now on our second phase of projects, having graduated 425 people in 2011 after 5 years of working with them. We then moved our geographic focus to some of the most intensely war-affected areas of northern Uganda along the South Sudan border, where we currently work with 21 groups of roughly 600 people. To read about our impact, click here.