Trauma healing and peace building project
Uganda is now hosting over 1.4million refugees from South Sudan, Congo and other neighboring countries that are settled in Northern, Western and Central Uganda. West Nile sub-region is mainly hosting South Sudan refugees in the districts of Adjumani, Arua, Yumbe, and Moyo districts that are continuing to arrive to Uganda from the first and second influx in 2013 and July 2016 following clashes between the SPLA forces loyal to President Salvar Kiir and the SPLA faction led by Dr. Riek Machar. Almost all the refugees arriving into Uganda report having witnessed traumatic situations before deciding to flee into exile, like seeing family members being tortured, violated and even being killed. Some of them were actual victims of these incidences. They left their country due to fear of indiscriminate killings, looting and burning of property, torture, sexual violence, arbitrary arrest by armed forces, lack of basic services and hunger, all of which affect human beings psychosocially. Now, most of the refugees are suffering mentally and psychosocially because most of them have been wounded, threatened with death, subjected to gross human right violations, lost their beloved people or property or faced confrontation with actual fighting (crossfire, bombardment, shelling).
The rivalry in South Sudan was between the two tribes which are the Dinka who are currently in the government and Nuer tribe largely in the opposition. The continuous conflicts among these two tribes over the years now also been manifested in the refugee settlements in Uganda. This therefore, indicates very urgent need to come up with number of strategies and activities that will enhance peaceful co-existence among the refugees from South Sudan as well as the host communities.
PAG used CCMP approach integrated with TH (Trauma Healing) and PB (Peace Building) to mobilize the local church and host communities in Rhino camp refugee settlement to support most of the refugees who are experiencing situation of post-traumatic stress and need psychosocial support like counselling and support to integrate into normal lives as well as promoting peaceful co-existence among the refugees and host communities.
The project targeted 2,700 direct participants and 5,400 indirect beneficiaries among refugees and host community members. PAG trained its staff and local church leaders in various skills in relation to delivery of Trauma healing, Peace building and reconciliation process through a tailored Church and Community Transformation process
PAG conducted regular reflection meetings and dialogue sessions with various stakeholders to share experiences, transformation stories, lessons and learning as well as strategies for service delivery aimed at promoting life in its fullness and peaceful coexistence amongst refugees and host communities.
This ensured that Refugees and host community members enjoy a healthy relationship and happy life free from trauma, stress, depression, assault and demonstrating the love of God among themselves in Rhino Refugee Settlement Camp and when they return back home.
The project was implemented in Arua District at Rhino camp refugee settlement which hosts over 95,600 refugees from South Sudan and Congo. The project targeted both refugees and host communities with an aim to enhance God-fearing people, living peacefully with healthy relationship with God, people and the environment around them. The beneficiaries were also holistically developed i.e. (physically, economically, socially and spiritually empowered) communities within Refugees settlements.
The purpose was to ensure that communities live peacefully, holistically transform, get healed from post trauma, get empowered and learn how to use God given potentials. This was achieved by making sure that local churches in the refugee Camp and host communities are mobilized and trained on CCMP principles, trauma healing and peace building and reconciliation. This process helped to facilitate the community to make movement towards a desired situation using locally available resources. Effective mobilization enables the community to reach common agreement and together do things that will help to bring change. Mobilization enables people to identify and match the needs with the local resources, make decisions jointly, with each member participating actively. Mobilization involves communities making use of local skills, setting goals and determining how to achieve them.