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Uganda’s Child Soldier No More goes to Waiheke, New Zealand

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Posted March 16, 2011 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Charity ~ 1,754 views

     


By David Farrier | Waiheke Island resident Emily McDonald has been helping out in Uganda for years. At only 26 she’s already been there three times to help build houses and schools, and organised the rest of the island to help out too.

Now, it’s come full circle – a little bit of Uganda has come to Waiheke.

There are plenty of amazing shows on Waiheke, but this one is unique. It stars 45 children who have come all the way from Uganda.

“This is the happiest day of my life,” Emily told 3 News.

“When those kids came on the ferry this morning, they came on the ferry smiling.

“This is the best day of my life so far.”

Four years ago Emily started The Village Project, helping build homes and classrooms in Uganda with the help of others on the island.

This show is special because the children starring in it, are the very children she has helped – many of them once child soldiers in Uganda.

“What these children needed to know is that they can still be accepted in society and reintegrated peacefully, because they were forced to commit atrocities against their will,” says Pastor Joe Ogwal.

Many of the children had been part of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Led by the self-appointed spokesperson of God Joseph Kony, they were forced into the ongoing conflict with the Ugandan government.

Now, they travel with their pastor in a show called Child Soldier No More, raising awareness of the troubles back home.

It is estimated 10,000 children have been forced into combat.

It’s all fairly harrowing, but Jeoffrey, 19, and Glavif, 16, told Nightline it is just as much about looking forward as it is back.

“When we look back, instead of regretting what has happened in the past, we give thanks to God,” says Jeoffrey.

It’s that kind of attitude that has Emily already planning her next fundraiser for them.


About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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