As seen in project reports, community Domestic Violence, Gender-based violence, and the impact from rebel groups are largely remedied by highly funded programs targeted by non-governmental organizations. In today’s case, a group of women came together forming a self-help group after waiting in vain for external bodies, therefore, created an internal support system for themselves.
Not very far from the traumatic mass gravesite of the Lukodi massacre, the group’s story started way back in the NRA war of 1981 that lead the current Uganda government, followed by experience from the LRA 20 years’ war and lately the DV, GBV, and land disputes that arose while they were returning home from the Internal Displaced Camps (IDP Camps) that were dissolved in 2007/2008
The widow’s group herein referred to as the self-help group started praying together, led by a participant of the 2018 HROC basic training with refugees and host community they started sharing their pain and helped counsel and comfort each other.
This workshop has shaded a new green light to the HROC program, the elders of the community that was not much targeted in most of the training conducted in the community now turned up to be key to fostering healing from an individual, to family, and to the community as laid down in the HROC Approach’s black and white. From this training, facilitators realized that the elders of the community were key in nurturing community resilience since they support their children who are the adults, the youthful parents who are their grandchildren, and the grand grandchildren.
The following training was conducted in the post-COVID 19 lockdown periods, therefore, Standard operating Procedures laid by the GoU were followed. To foster social distancing, the number of participants was reduced to 15 from the usual 20. Participants were provided with a face mask and were made to practice regular hand washing throughout the workshop.
Two basic pieces of training were successfully conducted with the community of layik village, north of Gulu city in the neighboring community of the tragic Lukodi massacre of 2004 the planned number of 30 participants and 4 community leaders due to the new normal of the CORONA VIRUS pandemic. However, 36 participants were trained and the group allowed few men from the community to join.
HROC Facilitators arrived on Sunday evening of 7th Feb 2021 and sat together for a team-building activity. The training kicked off immediately on Monday the 8th Feb 2021. Here, the group realized individual trauma relating their stories from the first day during the discussion of the symptoms of trauma that was participatory lead by the participants while being guided by the facilitators. This happened before they were made to share their painful past with the large group on the second day.
The second training followed from the 11th Feb 2021. Each took 3 days, this group started crying in tears on the first day during the devotion, they testified that the first group was sharing with them what happened in the training during the evening fire gathering (Wang Oo). They seem to know more and had set their own expectations. They had more testimonies on the third day.