PEACE | HUMANITARIAN
Hundreds of youth from different refugee camps are touring areas of Karamoja and Kiryandongo to learn from fellow youths how to maintain peace in the camps.
The tour which is sponsored by War Child Canada and USAID is intended to enable the youth to promote peace and also be effective leaders in their camps.
“The motive of this tour is to expose youth leaders from different refugee camps to learn from other youth especially those from Karamoja how they have managed to build peace after a lot of raiding,” said Chan Simon Onen, a youth leader with Children and Youth as Peace Builders(CAP)
Addressing the youth, Wubeshet Woldemariam Tefra, the War Child Canada country director, an international non-profit organization, said that without peace, there is no development in the country that is why there is an urgent need for the youth to rise and become front runners of peace building.
“We have picked out different youth to visit different places to learn and apply the peace keeping tips other youth have applied that has helped them to stay together. From Karamoja, they are going to visit Kenya to understand the role of peace in any community because they usually get affected when a war breaks up,” said Wubeshet.
Alfred Okech, the head of the refugee program at War Child also encouraged the youth to desist from fighting when in camps to become great people in society.
“You are part of the community so you should fight for injustices and promote peace as well as defend human rights,” noted Okech.
Speaking to New Vision, John Chol, from South Sudan said that he has learnt from the Karamoja youth to work with the elders in order to promote peace.
“Youth from Karamoja always hold cultural events promoting peace and at the end of the show, elders come out to encourage love and peace in the community, that way, they have managed to stay together without fighting, when I go back to South Sudan, I will also encourage elders to holds such cultural shows,” said Chol.
Another youth said: “I have learnt that youth from Kiryadongo work as a team, they have saving groups, whenever they sell their goods, they save some and this has helped them to develop. Some have bought properties like bicycles and cows, this way they are kept busy instead of stealing people’s properties, they work for themselves,” said Grace Manero from Koboko.
Apart from the fun that comes with travelling, the youth also picked health tips.
“I have been drinking alcohol, during the tour we had doctors who demonstrated to us the dangers of smoking and drinking alcohol by putting liver in alcohol and it turns out to be spongy. By looking at this, I will never take alcohol again,” said Patrick Nyanda.
A consignment of books that provide insight on conflict management, human rights, gender issues, nationalism and patriotism were given to the youth.