Katakwi post conflict area
on Sabrina and Geoff Slide in Kamwenge (Uganda), 24/Oct/2010 09:56, 34 days ago
We have recently returned from a week in Katakwi, which is a district in the north-east of Uganda. We had been asked to train teachers in school health and maths. Katakwi is a district that has suffered from insecurity over the last 2 decades due to several conflicts. A long-standing and violent cattle-raiding dispute between people in neighbouring districts has meant that many people have left their homes and moved into camps for displaced people. In addition to this, the civil war which was fought in the north of the country between the LRA and the government for many years has, at times, spread south into Katakwi. Although the area is now much more stable, many people still live in camps and are traumatised from their experiences.Huts in the camps for displaced peopleLink Community Development, the organisation with which we are working, is supporting schools in Katakwi. Our training was part of a package which aims to bring stability and peace to schools and communities through improving teaching and learning. Within the school health training, as well as hygiene and health, we taught them how to do basic counselling, deal with traumatised children and gave them an opportunity to talk about their experiences. The teachers were very interested in these subjects and it was good for us to hear about the challenges they face. It is also important to improve the teaching of basic skills and for teachers and pupils to enjoy their lessons. They had great fun making up maths and number rhymes as well as learning some old ones.On the way back from Katakwi, we picked our son, Tom, up from the airport and spent an enjoyable week showing him life in Uganda and schools in Kamwenge. The local school children thought he looked like Wayne Rooney, much to his annoyance. A head teacher, on the other hand thought he was‘photocopy’ of Geoff. Just as insulting to Tom!We did another safari– well we deserve it! - and the highlight was watching tree climbing lions sitting in the tree just 10 metres away – so close that we could clearly hear them panting in the heat. Stunning. One even climbed down, wandered around and then climbed back up.