Why we do what we do
They called it a war, but it wasn't...
It was one rebel group tormenting Northern Uganda with grotesque violence, murder, and kidnapping children to become soldiers.
The war is over, but the destruction it left in it’s wake is still affecting development at a crisis level. Unless more is done to change this, the effects of one monstrous rebel leader will continue to plague this town for generations to come.Learn More »
No one's history should define their future
Imagine everything your family had been working towards for generations - schools, hospitals, businesses, and homes all destroyed by one rebel group running rampant through your town. Everything had to be rebuilt, and with little support from the rest of the country, Gulu is still playing catch up.
adults who are unemployed between ages 18-35
kids who never attend school past the 7th grade
adults who can't read or write beyond a 3rd grade level
This kind of devastation impacts every aspect of human life.
Family & Community
Too many disasters can tear apart even the strongest family. Decades of terror and poverty has done exactly that.
Innovation & Jobs
When businesses flee from war-torn areas, entire communities can't pay for food, healthcare, or education.
Education & Literacy
Tuition fees and poverty are a terrible mix, but that's the system we're left with after the war.
Equality & Human Rights
When an entire community's dignity is stripped from them, their ability to recognize equality or advocate for the rights of others also disappears.
Health & Wellness
PTSD, alcoholism, domestic abuse, survivalism, mob justice, and many medical ailments are deep-rooted issues that plague post-conflict zones.
Art, music, dance, and even cultural traditions are lost when communities are ransacked and families are solely focused on survival.
You can't prioritize the environment's life over the life of your family. When you have to choose, it's no contest, but the cost is still high.
Even the leaders of the church have been too heavily influenced by the war and poverty of their generation, which means the gospel message has been tainted too.
Dignity & Independence
Having little to no control over your life or your family's survival is degrading to the human psyche on a level most of the world will never understand.
Complicated issues require holistic solutions
...and that's exactly what we offer.
It feels overwhelming, but we've found a way to mobilize an entire army of changemakers dedicated to seeing complete healing and redemption for this town! How do we do it? It's actually a lot easier than you'd think.see our work
or get involved
But there's another problem that has disrupted recovery efforts in immeasurable ways...
You're only told one side of the story
Imagine your life story being told across the world but only the worst parts of it. You're strong, brave, and smart, but that part is left out of the story about war and poverty. Situations beyond your control are now defining who you are, and people are looking down on you because of it.
When we talk about others like they're helpless, they hear that message too. How long before they believe it themselves?
A destructive cycle of dependecy
As necessary as foreign aid is during a crisis, there is a deep loss of dignity that happens in the heart of the one who relies on it. Mixed with being ravaged by war, there is a cycle of dependency that inevitably forms.
After the war, more foreign organizations came in, and without realizing it, perpetuated the myth that the Acholi people need to rely on (and be defined by) outsiders. Not enough has been done to undo this degrading message.
Our Marketing Commitment
We won't exploit people who are struggling
We don't photograph most of our projects because we don't believe in exposing people who are down on their luck. If they wouldn't put it on their own Facebook page, why should we? Sometimes we show actors in place of the real people in order to protect their identity but still represent their story.
We will never post without consent
Everyone photographed has given us either verbal or written consent, with the exception of people in the background that are unidentifiable. We will never share stories unless the people involved have given us permission. We never ask permission to share someone's story unless we know it will also benefit them and we believe they're ready to share it. We are as clear as possible when explaining what the photos or videos will be used for.
We will focus our story on the strength, dignity, and success of the Acholi people
We will do our part to share the full story, including the common heroes who we see as the role models we aspire to be. We acknowledge a history of demeaning language, whether intentional or ignorant, and we are committed to setting it right. They say it takes 10 compliments to undo the impact of one insult. We have our work cut out for us, but we're willing to take that on.
Does this make fundraising even harder for us?
Yeah, that's the sad and scary part. But we know there are so many people out there who align with this commitment to honor the dignity of the people we serve, and we trust we will get the support we need without having to exploit anyone in the process.