Nearly two million people in Northern Uganda have been displaced from their homes and villages as a result of the ongoing, catastrophic war traveling throughout East Africa. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Kony, began its malicious movement in 1986 through a horrific agenda of torturing individuals, setting villages on fire, and abducting thousands of children. Within two decades, the LRA had recruited nearly 66,000 youth to their army, forcing children to be soldiers, “wives”, and slaves.
In 1996, the Government of Uganda forced approximately 1.8 million people to relocate to Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camps in an effort to provide refuge and protection, however, a decade later, the situation in IDP camps worsened as they became filled with disease, poverty, malnourishment, and few opportunities to leave.
Throughout the last few years, many people have been permitted to leave IDP camps and return to their villages, however, individuals and communities at large have been left with little hope of returning to their normal way of life or attaining social equity. The limited access to education, employment, and sustainability has forced many people to relocate to the District of Gulu, where they are seeking aid and opportunity.
There are some who have achieved sustainability for themselves and their families, while thousands of others remain with few chances for employment, livelihood, and provision. Gulu is filled with astounding high spirits and energy; however, the lack of opportunity has diminished many people’s hope for prosperity. As their deprivation of sustenance, opportunity, and optimism continues, there is a growing need for effective actions to take place that will counter poverty, offer hope, and establish sustainability.