Peace Camp 2017 occurred in May 7-13 at St. Katherine’s Secondary School in Boroboro. A partnership between AYINET and Peace Corps gathered 35 youths from secondary schools around Lira for a week of education and activities focused on creating a more peaceful Uganda.
The five days of the camp were themed, so that participants could make useful connections between different lessons and build up to taking peaceful leadership back to their communities. Lessons from the days included:
Day 1, Peace is Personal: positive communication, tolerance and acceptance, and self-confidence
Day 2, The Global Goals and Peace in Northern Uganda: Global Goal 16 Peace and Justice, transitional justice, and religion and peace
Day 3, Gender Equality and HIV Prevention: gender power dynamics, healthy relationships, and HIV prevention and stigma
Day 4, Assessing Our Communities and Addressing Problems: decision making, community needs assessment, and critical thinking and problem solving
Day 5, Taking Camp Home by Starting a Youth Club: involving the community, becoming a peace builder, and action planning for creating a youth club
During the camp, we were pleased to have Victor Ochen stop by to talk to the campers. Victor is the Executive Director of AYINET and a 2015 nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. During his time, Victor discussed his personal story with the participants and encouraged them to take responsibility for building peace in their lives and communities. His wisdom and advice inspired the campers to realize their potential as youths in Uganda.
The camp was created with the goal of the campers bringing the tools and knowledge they gained to create youth clubs in their schools and communities ensuring sustainability. AYINET and Peace Corps will be doing follow-up in the coming months to confirm that participants have started peace building around them. We have already heard of a success story coming from Oyam district, where a camper used his knowledge on conflict resolution to help resolve a land issue in his community. These are the stories we plan to hear from every camper: 2017 Peace Campers creating a more peaceful Uganda through leadership and responsibility.