From 1988-2006, Northern Uganda was the battlefield of a brutal war. This conflict has become infamous for the widespread child abductions that fueled the rebel army’s forces.
In the midst of the chaos, PATH sprouted up in response to an urgent, and overwhelming need to rescue children.
Today, we thank God that the war has ended. But multiple generations are still reeling from the trauma that took place during the LRA’s war. And every one of our original children was effected by this conflict.
- It is estimated that at least 1 in 3 male adolescents, and 1 in 6 female adolescents were abducted by the LRA in northern Uganda (Carlson and Mazurana, 2008.)
- At least 25% of female abductees were also forced to become ‘wives’ to men within the LRA, with half of them bearing children.
- 90% of formerly forced wives did not wish to reunite with their “husbands.” Most went to find new husbands and left their children with their parents (Child’s maternal grandparents.)
Minakulu Village is the site of one of our Community Based Care (CBC) partner schools. Minakulu sits on the border between the Acholi and Lango tribes. During the war, this was a heavy battle ground. Families were decimated during the war and are still dealing with the effects.
Almost every one of our Minakulu orphans is being cared for by a guardian who grew up in the midst of the battle. These adults – parents, grandparents, aunt and uncles – are still trying desperately to pick up the pieces.
Why is this history so important?
Most of the orphaned children we care for are growing up with the stigma of their own personal trauma, and the trauma of their family’s history. This means that while we must meet their physical needs, there is also a deep need for emotional and spiritual healing as well.
Our most recent medical outreach was to Minakulu. Our staff agreed that of all the villages we’ve done medical outreaches to this year, Minakulu needed it the most. When we arrived at 9am, there were already 200 people waiting to be seen. While our medical staff diagnosed and treated, our social workers gave health and hygiene talks.
Counseling and prayer were also a big part of the outreach. Pastors and social workers met with over 20 individuals, which in a culture where counseling is not common, this is a large amount of people seeking help. 2 families accepted Christ that day!
Sometimes healing takes a long time.
It’s been 15 years since the LRA left northern Uganda, and many of the people who were traumatized by the war are only now finding healing, counseling and restoration. We are so grateful for the courageous pastors who live and work within communities like Minakulu. Without them, our CBC program would not be possible. But because of their faithfulness to God’s call on their lives, we are able to partner together and bring fullness, healing and restoration to a deeply wounded community.
We are so honored that you have chosen to be a part of this ministry. We hope that this detailed look into one of our Community Based Care partner communities helps you understand how valuable you are in this work.
The people of Minakulu have survived some of the most horrific things in modern history, yet because of Jesus Christ, there is restoration and healing.
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