An update from Kids for Peace:
War ended in Uganda six years ago, but for the children abducted by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, those left orphaned, or unable to pay school fees, the process of finding peace has just begun.
Kids for Peace co-founder Danielle Gram has been working with children and youth affected by the war since October 2011. As part of a Harvard University fellowship, Danielle is studying the challenges faced by children born into war, and has used what she has learned from her experience to adapt Kids for Peace programs to address the needs of Uganda’s war-affected children.
More than 200 children and youth in five separate peace clubs in Northern Uganda are currently receiving training, materials, and support from Kids for Peace. In addition to creating peace through the arts, service, cross-cultural connection, and environmental protection, chapters in Northern Uganda have a special focus on skills-development. Members learn how to use nonviolent communication, are trained in conflict resolution and trauma counseling, and are supported in community advocacy.
“The children have been particularly receptive to the arts component of Kids for Peace,” shared Danielle. “They love to sing, drum, and dance and have created beautiful art. Each chapter has made its own peace puzzle mural, and some have chosen to write poems about war and childhood which they intend to share with community leaders.”
“Without a doubt, the best part of my week is spent in the Peace Clubs. Knowing what hardship these children and youth have experienced, it brings me great joy to see them smiling, at peace, and safe, and thinking about how they can contribute to the security and happiness of others.”