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While Uganda has experienced significant economic growth for more than a decade, it remains one of the poorest countries in the world. In addition, northern Uganda has been seriously affected by the 21-year insurgency by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), one of Africa’s most brutal rebellions, which has led to the displacement of approximately 1.8 million people. The security situation has vastly improved since a truce was signed in 2006, but thousands of people have seen their lives shattered, especially children who were abducted as fighters.
ALARM in Uganda
ALARM has been active in Uganda since 1999, working to build unity in the church and respond to the killings that were taking place in northern Uganda. The main office of ALARM Uganda is in the capital city of Kampala. ALARM also has an office in Gulu which serves Gulu and other northern regions that have been devastated by attacks from the LRA.
ALARM equips the Church with well-trained leaders through both its Pastoral Leadership Training Institutes (PLTI’s), Women’s Leadership Training Institutes (WLTI’s) and Peacebuilding and Reconciliation programs. The PLTI and WLTI are three year programs bringing leaders together several times per year to study an intensive curriculum that ALARM developed to impart the skills and tools needed to effectively lead and transform churches and communities.
ALARM Uganda has many programs for women who have been affected by the war, providing them with business opportunities, trauma counseling, Christian discipleship, and assistance with other basic needs. There are two groups of women, one in Gulu and the other living on the outskirts of Kampala because they have been displaced from the north, who work together making beautiful jewelry which allows them to support their families and keep their children in school.
In northern Uganda, ALARM is assisting the children devastated by war. ALARM is helping over 350 children return to school by providing school fees, uniforms and materials. ALARM also works closely with dozens of child-headed households (children as young as 11 that are raising younger siblings because the parents have died). ALARM provides these children with both spiritual and material support, and ALARM is also training volunteers who will serve as mentors to help these children cope with the challenges in their lives.
In addition to the many orphans and widows in northern Uganda that are struggling for survival as a result of the war, there is also a generation of young adults who have had no opportunity for education. They have no skills, no hope for employment, and they are destined for rebel/gang activity or prostitution as a means of survival. That is why ALARM is building the Pader Technical Center — to give vocational training to hundreds of disadvantaged youths. The center will be complete in mid-2010, and at full capacity it will provide civic education and technical skills to 300 young people.
- Rev. Nelson Okello, Country Director
- Jessica Okello, Community Transformation Program Coordinator
- Rev. Benon Bisamunyu, Director, Pastoral Leadership Training
- Muhereza Liberty, Peacebuilding & Reconciliation Program Coordinator
- Jonathan Gwaitta, Administrative Assistant
- Molly Odonga, Women and Children's Ministry Coordinator, Northern Uganda
- David Ojok Oyite, Administrative Assistant, Pader
- Anek Margaret, Women & Children coordinator, Pader