Years of being specifically targeted by Amin, Musevoni, and Kony, the large tribe of people of Northern Uganda, called the Acholi people, are finially experiencing peace since 2007.
However, during the most recent war, Kony’s forces abducted some 66,000 children, making them soldiers and many thousands of young girls of all ages as sex slaves. From 1986 to 2007, more than 1.5 million Acholi people were displaced, mostly from the Northern Ugandan district of Gulu, or what is referred to as Acholiland.
Between the decades of war and havoc of disease, countless women have become widows and take on raising their own children and the children of deceased family and friends. The poverty level in Gulu is staggering. Over 40% of the population in the district of Gulu makes less than $1.25 per day.
Hundreds of children live on the streets; thousands of women and children live with HIV due to wartime atrocities and survive with an extraordinary amount of physical and mental anguish. Many men struggle to find work to provide for their families and are unable to send their children to school, allowing the cycle of poverty to continue to abound.
Despite the pain caused by years of violence and abuse, hope among the people of Northern Uganda exists.