receiving-farm-toolsmembers of AWARE Uganda receiving input for planting in their aquired land

Gunfire, Poverty and Drought - Volunteering at the grassroots level

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Students gain leadership skills in north-east Uganda

By Grace Loumo, AWARE Executive Director & Founder, and Teddy Curran, AWARE Technical Director

AWARE has encouraged students to carry out their research as part of their fulfillment in completion of degree course in community leadership and development studies.

AWARE's work has been made possible because of generous volunteer members who give their time and has pushed AWARE to different levels. Students have volunteered as trainees as part of their requirements for their degree. 

One student, Beatrice Asao, carried out a research study in globalization issues and responses affecting AWARE Uganda. This project explored how AWARE has been able to acquire finances and how it’s been able to market itself to continue operations in the rural areas of Karamoja, and the difficulties in the problems facing them.

Another student, Albert Odero, talked to me about his exprience and work with AWARE Uganda:

"I am a student at Uganda Christian University (Mukono) persuing a Bachelor in Business Computing (BBC), and am 20 years of age.peace-meetingKaramajong youth attending a peace & human rights meeting in Kaabong

I volunteered for AWARE Uganda for four months.

The Kaabong District of Karamoja has a semi-arid climate. It is very insecure due to the intercultural wars and cattle rustling amongst the tribes which exist.

I was acting as the information manager (I.T) / communication manager, and I worked hand in hand with the other members in the organization.  Through my four months' holiday, I enjoyed working with the organisation because they were cooperative, friendly and understanding.

During my stay in Karamoja, I faced a lot of challenges.

I have to say that the lifestyle is backward in that there is still insecurity and less development because the people are not yet well educated.

A lot of violence took place there during my time of work.

Some weeks I could hear many gun shots, when there is cattle raiding (the Dodoth and the Gye tribes).

Hostile untamed tribes have access to guns which they use to attack the weak villages, which leads to displacement and homelessness.

There are ongoing problems of family neglect and economic hardship.

In addition, there is the challenge of access to water (no fresh drinking water) because of the prolonged drought.

The most affected people of all are the women (grassroots women) because they are always subjected and exposed to most of the dangers."