Friends of UNIFAT: Response to Kony2012
Recently there has been much media attention, particularly on the Internet, on an effort to capture and try the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, Joseph Kony. Because of this, many people now know where Uganda is and something about the suffering of the civilian population in Northern Uganda. Our focus is to support the rebuilding of the civil society in the north.
The overt war in Northern Uganda has ended. The Lord’s Resistance Army has moved into the Sudan, Central African Republic and the Congo. The fabric of the community in the north is deeply damaged and continues to experience trauma from the more than twenty years of brutal conflict between the LRA and the Ugandan Army, where atrocities were committed on both sides and the civilian population was caught in the middle.
The camps for internally displaced people have mostly emptied and people have returned to their villages and farms, where there is no infrastructure to help the many war-affected children or to think about and rehabilitate the many former child soldiers and sex slaves. There is even a stronger need for help in the present, as many international NGOs have left the north for hotter conflict zones.
Educator and visionary Abitimo Odongkara created an oasis of peace, safety and education in Northern Uganda when she started UNIFAT (Upper Nile Institute for Appropriate Technology) in 1983. It now has more than 1,300 young people.
Stopping, catching and punishing those responsible for the destruction in Northern Uganda is a very small part of what needs to happen now to restore the civil society and productiveness of this rich country. We feel that supporting an inspired Ugandan initiative like UNIFAT is a way that people around the world can contribute to creating peace.
You can help with this important work with a financial contribution, or contact us to learn about other ways to get involved.