You may have noticed that there’s been a lot of talk recently about Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). That’s a good thing.
Kony and the LRA terrorized northern Uganda for 20 years. They continue to terrorize the people of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, and Central African Republic. It’s now time for you to harness your attention and passion: Act to do the most good for the children most hurt by Kony’s campaign of terror.
The LRA continues to kill, maim, and abduct children in DRC, South Sudan, and Central African Republic. Mercifully, though, peace has come to northern Uganda. We now have the opportunity to join hand-in-hand with the people of this region to build a bright future for them and their children.
World Vision is partnering with communities across Uganda to ensure that the conditions that allowed the LRA to form in the first place are never allowed to emerge again.
You can now join in that partnership.
Building a brighter future
For more than 20 years, World Vision has run the Children of War Rehabilitation Center in Gulu, Uganda. There, our staff members witnessed the direct impact of Joseph Kony’s evil on thousands of children. Child survivors of Kony’s forced abductions, conscriptions, and sexual exploitation have gone through physical and emotional healing at the center, before rejoining their families and communities.
Since 1995, more than 14,000 children have been successfully rehabilitated and resettled back in their communities of origin. Thankfully, since the LRA left Uganda in 2006, the number of children coming through the center has dropped dramatically. We can now look toward achieving lasting peace and prosperity in the region. We can walk alongside these children to realize that dream.
Child sponsorship programs in Uganda, and many other countries, have enabled World Vision to work for many years with the most vulnerable children in the world’s hardest places. Working long-term with communities helps people meet their basic needs, strengthen stability, and achieve independence for these communities.
We also work hard to promote child protection awareness, so that children and their caregivers are equipped to avoid being exploited or harmed.
Seize the opportunity
It’s important to remember that this is an incredibly complex issue. You should seek opportunities to educate yourself about the history of the LRA and the people they have terrorized for more than two decades.
It will take a complete response to address the underlying causes of instability in northern Uganda and the surrounding regions. There is no easy, quick solution.
But one of the most important things you can do is turn this momentum into something positive for the children that the LRA has harmed. You can work with the people of northern Uganda to ensure that every child in every community is free from violence, neglect, abuse, and exploitation. You can join our partnership with Ugandan communities to improve access to healthcare, clean water, and a good education.
All of this will help children in the region have dreams of hope — instead of nightmares about the LRA. From sponsoring a child, to following World Vision for calls to action if our elected officials threaten to cut funding for the African nations most affected by the LRA, you have a direct role to play.
This is a unique moment. Let’s make sure we maximize the momentum and use it so that we can see the greatest impact for children.
You can make a difference in the life of a child in Uganda by becoming a sponsor. Sponsorship helps provide essentials for the present and stability for the long term, giving a boy or girl in need the foundation for a future of dignity, hope, and independence.
Read more about World Vision’s efforts to bring hope and healing to northern Uganda and its children.