Beyond Kony: Rebuilding Life in Northern Uganda

Mothers of northern Uganda have horrid stories to tell in regards to the LRA war. We have heard some already and for some, we might never hear, but for every narration, it breaks a heart, a soul, it breaks your system down.

Many lost a father, a child, a husband and relatives. Just a few of them can count themselves lucky to have sailed through with their families intact. Northern Uganda is fast changing though. Changing for the better.

At about the same time the Invisible Childrens’ Kony2012 video was trending worldwide, another NGO, The Children Of the Nile (TCON)– also run by Americans was in Bungatira Sub-county in Gulu doing an honest job in my opinion helping widows of the two decade war.

While the Kony2012 video depicted Kony to be routed in the jungles of Northern Uganda, abducting men and children, raping women, and slicing off peoples lips, TCON was in those “Jungles” trying to empower widowed mothers because of  the war.

Contrary to the picture painted by Kony2012, a bunch of Americans were in Odek, Kony’s village as the video trended, racing towards the 100million tape, from where Craig Nason, TCONs Networking and Communication Director tweeted;

“Sitting right now with the widow of #josephkony older brother. 18 years in IDP camp, finding Kony not her priority, rebuilding life is.”

The video predictably received a backlash from Ugandans who thought it misrepresented the facts on the ground. Among the most elaborate reaction was a youtube podcast by one of Africa’s finest bloggers, Rosebell Kagumire who claims the video portrays the usual outsider trying to be a hero by rescuing African Children and she goes on to urge for sound intelligent campaigns geared towards real policy shift. Rosebell appeals for focus on the real current issues affecting the children of Northern Uganda like the nodding disease.

There is also a group of professional Ugandans who came with UgandaSpeaks, an online social media platform that encourages motivated Ugandan media makers to tell their own stories. They were directly encouraged by the misrepresentation of facts in the Kony2012 video.

Unlike the Invisible Children with hundreds of staff members and perhaps thousands non staff, TCON, comprises of just eight staff members (3 in Uganda and 5 in the US) who over the years have directly extended help to hundreds of women and children in north-eastern and northern Uganda. That withstanding, Invisible Children has contributed to some extent towards the well-being of the Children of Uganda.

The Children of the Nile primarily focuses its programs to directly assist poor and vulnerable women because, in their own words; “when a woman is equipped and empowered she can become a change agent for her entire family.”

“Over the past five years we have sponsored business initiatives for nearly 100,000 women throughout the northern region of Uganda,” TCON states on their website.

In Bungatira Sub county headquarters, hundreds of widowed mothers received 5kg maize seeds amidst traditional Acholi dances. TCON aims to increase food security for the mothers and their families who are just trying to rebuild their lives after the war. In over a month of distributions, over 30.000 widows received each 5kgs maize seeds.

The message passed unto the widows was an encouragement to self sustenance. The widows were encouraged the widows to plant the seeds, harvest, make some income from the harvest while saving some seeds for replanting.

TCON does not stop at just helping widowed mothers. They have CON constructed a 15,000 square foot facility designed to provide palliative care for 120 patients in an effort to offer the highest standards of care and to restore dignity to the acutely sick and terminally ill widows registered with TCON.

They’ve also helped an estimated half a million children by providing the necessary resources to launch agricultural business initiatives, better access to health and palliative care, educational support for the youth and orphans of the region and through hosting conferences and training opportunities to strengthen community networking and development.

28 thoughts on “Beyond Kony: Rebuilding Life in Northern Uganda

    • “The lone hand” was meant just for that..Captivate your imagination.. Thank you again for visiting and leaving behind a comment too..Thank you!

    • Cherry,

      You know, you have been one of the most consistent followers to my blog ever since you discovered it. I have followed you really closely and i just thought i would let you know..

      I really appreciate. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

      Yes, its important to share as many good blogs around here as much as possible. A lot of people underestimate the importance of social media but its a very relevant tool of communication globally.

  1. Edward, always creative and nice pictures. Before you get to see it, you already know what kind of creativity to expect! Good work highlighting the plight of victims man.

  2. Amazing photography and a very topical issue. I feel you can tell so much about peoples lives and struggles by looking at a single image. Thanks so much for sharing. Janet🙂

    • Used well, photography can become an integral tool in telling real life stories of people globally. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving behind a comment too. Cheers

      • No problem, and you are totally right about the power of photography, I have been following your blog for a while and find it very inspiring. I have a undergrad degree in Journalism myself but am now pursuing a Masters in Humanitarian Action, with the hope that the 2 combined will help me see the world better. Uganda is such an amazing place, I can’t wait to go back some day and visit again. Janet🙂

      • The combination should be fruitful in extending resource to the needy. And you are welcome back to Uganda any time. Next time, please let me know so that we can grab something and chat a little too..Cheers

  3. Pingback: Uganda: Kony 2012: Part II – Beyond Famous Receives Mixed Reactions · Global Voices

    • You are welcome Antonio.I visited your blog and you have a very good thing on there…Beautiful images especially “colors of autoumn”..Never experienced such a period in my life but you give an insight into it with your images!

  4. Pingback: Uganda: Kony 2012: Part II – Beyond Famous Receives Mixed Reactions :: Elites TV

  5. Well done, Edward- its great to see this on your blog with your perspective added! We continue to learn more about Uganda through your lens. Glad we could meet in Gulu, and hope to get to work more together in the future.

  6. Pingback: Imagine losing your life time investment in a flash!! | Helen's Photomania Blog

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