VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
Uganda after Kony: Christine Amunu’s Story
June 6, 2012 by The IRC
|Photo: Celine Auma/IRC|
This is the third in a series of stories shared by women who are rebuilding their lives after the long and brutal Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) conflict in northern Uganda. A 2006 cease-fire agreement between the Ugandan government and LRA rebel leader Joseph Kony brought relative peace to the region. Families who were displaced into camps, some for decades, have now returned home, but their communities are still recovering. The International Rescue Committee is helping them start anew.
During the insurgency, I was displaced to a camp. Life in the camps was very difficult since we did not have any source of income and no access to land to cultivate to get food.
I run a bar and have seen many men drink and indulge themselves, leaving the responsibility of providing for the family to the women alone. But women face challenges accessing the finances they need to help them start businesses and earn an income.
The IRC has helped me and my family to save some money through a local village savings and loan group that it supports. I have already used part of the savings to pay my children’s school fees.
After I joined the savings association, some staff from the IRC’s women’s protection and empowerment program came to meet with our group. They introduced group discussions that brought members and their spouses together to talk about money matters. They said that these talks were geared toward helping to build peaceful and successful homes. I instantly welcomed the program since it came at a time when I was having trouble with my husband.
Being involved in these discussions has restored peace in our family. My husband has stopped beating me and -- unlike in the past -- we now plan and make decisions together.
Learn More about Uganda, Joseph Kony and the LRA
- Background on Joseph Kony and the LRA - Q&A
- Uganda today: The legacy of the LRA – Update from IRC country director Christine Betters
- Joseph Kony and the LRA: Your questions answered
- The IRC's work in Uganda