Sunday, November 27, 2011

Olinga Jimmy

'Peace Camp Day' was held on Friday, Nov. 25th to mark peace camper, Olinga Jimmy's, completion of training his ENTIRE parish in peace building skills. Jimmy set out on his task on alone and reached every village within Kula Kula parish (which is a lot). He probably sensitized close to a thousand community members on forgiveness, reconciliation, and positive communication.

Upon finishing his trainings he called a meeting with me and Ugandan Peace Camp counselor, Okello Walter. He said that he wanted to have a bigcelebration. We started talking about possible ways of getting organized before he interjected and told us that he had already organized the whole thing, he was just inviting us to attend.The event featured 5 community groups (4 groups of adults, one youth group) who all preformed music, dance and drama. Some topics addressed in the drama were domestic violence, alcoholism, life in the IDP camps, abductions, and justice.

Jimmy is 19 years old. He was abducted and lived in the bush for 4 years. He has never been able to go back to school and speaks very patchy English. He has been living in the village as a farmer since returning from the bush. It seems that Peace Camp unlocked a hidden potential in Jimmy. Even throughout the week of Camp he was continuously asking me how we were going to bring all of the knowledge of peace building back to Ngai. It turns out that he didn't need my help or advice at all- about 300 people attended the event :)

In addition to working in his own home area Jimmy also managed to motivate one of the shyer campers, Obang David. As a result David has also started training his parish. He has tentatively scheduled a 'Peace Camp Day' in Acut Parish for Dec. 20.

Jimmy is kind of a local celebrity in Ngai at the moment. In addition to creating an organic and sustainable dialogue about peace building in the community I think that Peace Camp and Jimmy's post camp activities will probably change the course of his life here in Ngai completely.

I feel like this has become my Peace Corps mantra but I'm incredibly proud of him.

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