Sunday, June 20, 2010

Stories

Gulu has gone nuts for the World Cup. The colour and sounds of football in South Africa have made their way here, including the vuvuzelas that are blasted in front of tiny tv screens and by people walking down the street. Strangely when you ask anyone which team are supporting they will say England, Spain or Argentina, yet when the games are being played they are shouting and dancing for their continental brothers in Ghana, Ivory Coast and SA.

The joy, unity and community of football stands in stark contrast to the brutal violence that tore this place apart and the trauma that still bubbles under the surface. We could never have imagined the breadth and depth of trauma that we would find in the children in the school we are working at. It is the combination of this normality with the depravity of their past that is difficult to process in our own thoughts. These children, in their neat uniforms, banter and laugh as they kick around a football or rugby ball like children in every playground in the world. Yet their stories reveal a previous life of such wicked violence that cannot be easily conveyed. Inhumane, evil, demonic, sadistic are words that are not powerful enough to describe the actions of the LRA and the suffering of these kids.

I have been torn over whether to document the children’s stories on this blog. The details are extremely disturbing and macabre. While the children want their stories to be heard the sheer scale of the conflict and the horrific details have often meant that they have been simply told to forget the past and move on. However this is often not possible. The suppression of these memories has resulted in nightmares, flashbacks and the other symptoms associated w
ith PTSD. This war, like so many in Africa, was ignored by the world. The illusion of a prosperous and peaceful Uganda was conveniently conveyed in order to allow the aid to continue flowing into the hands of a corrupt government. The stories of 30,000 child soldiers were ignored.

So below I have pasted Paul's writing about some of the kids he has met this week. Their words were spoken directly to him and translated by a local counsellor who is assisting. They are disturbing so you may not wish to read any further. However these experiences have been the reality of life for thousands of people in Northern Uganda.

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I pray that this new generation of Acholi will never have to live the lives of their older brothers and sisters

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is awful and must be stopped . The whole world needs to hear these stories and cry out against this evil . God please come and save your people we pray . Send us out Lord to bring healing to a hurting and war torn people .
Set your people free Lord .
You came to proclaim liberty to the captives , to bind up the broken hearted , to preach good tidings to the meek , and to open the prison to them that are bound .
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord , and the day of vengeance of our God .
To comfort all that mourn ; to give them beauty for ashes , the oil of joy for mourning , the garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness ; that they may be called "Oaks of righteousness", the planting of the Lord that He might be glorified .
And they shall build the old wastes , they shall raise up the former desolations , and they shall repair the waste cities the desolations of many generations .
Come Lord Jesus come .

Jan... said...

'For me, this callous defilement of innocence is perhaps the greatest tragedy of all, since a childhood once lost can never be reclaimed and the sights, the sounds and the smells of horrific atrocities can never be purged from the mind.'

the truth in this statement breaks my heart.....
.... My year 3 are 7 years old..... I have no words ....

..... It's not fair......

They say that education is the movement from darkness into light......

.... But my how the light stings the freshly dawned eye of thee/me.....

..... And yet their pain changes .... Their wounds inspire...??.....
.....'pass them not oh gentle saviour.....4 my hope in in YOU Lord'.....

The Lyrical Designer ♥ Quit yer Blatherin said...

One day , the Lord will bring justice.