Reconciling communities and fostering peace through dialogue
AYINET with support from USAID/SAFE is implementing the trauma healing for post conflict peace and reconciliation project to address the challenges lingering in the post conflict communities of Pader and Agago. These challenges range from widespread violent conflicts that take shape in form of land conflicts, domestic violence, sexual and gender based violence. They are further geared by the high trauma rates affecting people in these areas due to the gross human rights violations suffered in the two decade LRA-war that plunged the region in chaos.
The project was initiated with the goal to enhance trauma healing for post conflict peace and reconciliation in the region. In achieving this goal, it is key to realize victims’ rehabilitation and acceptance in the community. In this regard, AYINET carries out advocacy campaigns to promote zero discrimination of victims of war. This effort includes conducting community resilience fares on tolerance that involve public community dialogues with the participation of key community and cultural leaders and influencers to discuss the key drivers of violence, and peaceful alternatives to their resolution in promoting inclusive and peaceful coexistence in the region.
On the 11th August 2016, AYINET conducted a community dialogue in Lagile parish in Awere Pader District. The dialogue attracted the participation of 171 people (106 females and 65 males) who gathered at the community market; among them were local government representatives like the Chairperson of Awere sub-county and the Area Councilor of Lagile Parish. During the dialogue, fifteen (15) people voluntarily received counseling services.
Victoria (not real name) was one of the participants who received counseling during the dialogue. She lost her first husband to the LRA insurgency and was left with two children. She later lived with another man and conceived his child but unfortunately the in-laws never accepted her and continually accused her of theft coupled with several insults that forced her to flee back to her parents’ house. Her parents didn’t welcome her either because of the new found pregnancy and gave her the options to either abort or return to the father of the unborn child. This drove her to considering both abortion and suicide having no alternatives to survive.
“I don’t regret telling my story to the counselor because she talked to me and gave me a lot of hope, something that I had lost longtime ago… I also learnt that the boat I was taking would lead me nowhere so I had now to let that boat sink and take another boat full of hopes” Victoria expressed her joy.