Uganda

Stolen

on Thursday, 03 August 2017. Posted in Uganda

Naomi was abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army when she was eight years old. Now she is a Lioness.

Stolen

My name is Naomi.

I am 25 years old.

In 2003, when Joseph Kony’s militia, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), first came to invade Amuria district in Northern Uganda, I was kidnapped within two days of their arrival. I was eight years old. Nine other girls including my sister-in-law were captured too.

All the other girls were left to go free but I was taken hostage even though I was the youngest. I was handed over to a young armed fighter who took care of me making sure that I couldn’t escape.

We had just started walking when the military helicopter came. I didn’t know how to hide and so the boy I had been handed over to started to train me how to dodge the bombs being dropped by the helicopter. When the helicopter turned its back on us we would run to hide. We had to keep on running to hide every time the helicopter came to pelt us with bombs.

Inspired by a Lioness

Written by Bridget Chambers on Friday, 30 June 2017. Posted in Uganda

“Bless me to bless the lives of orphaned children and girls who are going through what I went through.”

Inspired by a Lioness

Carol Akello lost both her parents to HIV/AIDS and then escaped a forced marriage when she was 16. Later, with her determination and the support of her brother, she finished her schooling and went on to university. She says she prayed for one thing: “Bless me to bless the lives of orphaned children and girls who are going through what I went through”. Now that prayer is being answered through her role as Director of Angatunyo Girls: The Lioness Project in Uganda.

Carol and I have had conversations over messenger and email, and she has sent me some photos. This particular one has sat at my desk for the last couple of weeks. I frequently delight in the opportunity to peek into the moment of joy, chaos, care and celebration of these beautiful, bold and determined young women.

Indigo: The young busker with a huge heart.

Written by Steve Blacket on Friday, 19 May 2017. Posted in Uganda

Indigo: The young busker with a huge heart.

A few months ago one of our Directors was discussing the Angatunyo Girls project with their young family, explaining how something as simple as purchasing a sewing machine can be enough to protect a teenage girl in Uganda from a forced marriage. 

Indigo is a bit shy by nature, but her strong convictions compelled her to action. Hearing her mum’s story, she found a prominent position in the main street and started singing songs she composes herself, determined to raise enough money for one sewing machine to help girls on the other side of the world only a few years older than herself who are being bullied into unwanted marriages for the sake of a dowry.

Even at 9 years of age Indigo realises how fortunate she is to enjoy the freedom and opportunity of life in Australia and has a sense of responsibility to stand with those not so fortunate.

A few days ago Indigo’s parents transferred $208 AUD that Indigo has raised to purchase a sewing machine for the Angatunyo Girls Project in Uganda 

Thanks Indigo!

When I told Carol, the Director of the Angatunyo Project, what Indigo had done, she was very excited. But she also told me that what the program really needs most is an overlocker machine. It costs $740 AUD. The Angatunyo girls will use it to make school uniforms and dresses for sale.

So now Indigo is aiming to raise enough to purchase an overlocker. She needs an extra $530.

Will you help?

Like a Lioness

Written by Steve Blacket on Tuesday, 15 December 2015. Posted in Uganda

The commencement of "Angatunyo Girls" project in Uganda

Carol Akello, Angatunyo Girls Project Manager

A few weeks ago I was chatting online with my friend Carol in Uganda and she told me about her niece being in a very desperate situation. She had been raised by her uncle since the death of her parents, but when she was 16 the uncle announced he couldn’t care for her any longer and had arranged her marriage. The girl just wanted to stay in school. Carol asked if I could help.

I met Carol while I was working in South Sudan. She had set up a nice little restaurant near the markets in Aweil. It’s a tough place to do business and I was impressed with how she ran the restaurant, and also the way she developed a community amongst her customers. Since returning to Uganda Carol continued to explore various business models to support herself. In her own way she is an entrepreneur. We began to explore how we might use Carol’s business skills to help her niece stand on her own feet.

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