My name is Tashi and I will be spending 10 months in Northern Uganda working for Children of Hope Uganda (COHU) as an intern. The region was marred by decades of violence under the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) led by Joseph Kony. Though the Kony 2012 campaign became famous and then infamous for oversimplifying the conflict in the region, the forced recruitment of child solders and sexual exploitation of abductees involved was a real humanitarian crisis. The dismantled public infrastructures and support systems alongside legacy of displacement and constant fear of attack on communities have been traumatizing. The communities are still grappling and coming to terms with the past amidst conditions of poverty that was sustained by decades of conflict.
COHU’s efforts supporting these war-affected youths from Barlonyo Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI), Barlonyo Early Childhood Development Centre (ECDC) and Income Generating Activities (IGA) to providing support with school fees amongst others are incredible. I’m grateful and excited to be part of a great team and hope to learn a lot about developing sustainable livelihoods and the challenges involved all the while marvelling at the innovative ideas that the COHU artisans incorporate into their products.
Jewellery made from beans. Who knew?