Partners provide training to refugees on trauma and peace building

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[Rhino Camp, Uganda, TCT] - South Sudanese in Rhino refugee settlement camp in Arua, West Nile region of Uganda received skill training and knowledge on trauma.

"It is true that there are so many South Sudanese refugees are traumatized", noted Charles Woja, Refugees Welfare Committee - RWC 1 Chairperson in Yelulu.

"With the help of my colleagues, we will do more awareness" he noted.

Forty refugees, mostly women with a few men were selected from the community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, youth groups and other groups.

They gathered in a three-day training in Yelulu on trauma healing, reconciliation, conflict management and resolution concluding on Wednesday.

Organized by Community Development Centre (CDC) in partnership with Center for Democracy and Development (CEDED), the training aimed at building the capacity of the members of the women leaders on psychosocial support to foster peace and reconciliation among communities in Odobu zone of Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement.

The recurring conflict in South Sudan has affected many refugees psychologically and caused much trauma among the people, the refugees noted. They say, trauma makes them unsettled in mind.

The refugee leaders who attended the training described it as 'fruitful capacity building' training that would aid their efforts to restore hope among the traumatized refugees.

Sebit Martin Kipara, CDC's Executive Director said they also wanted to “facilitate build resilience and capacity of women refugees to resolve conflicts and meaningfully contribute to peace initiatives.”

He expressed hope that using the leaders would easily bring change and transform the refugees lives, adding that the organizations would work collaboratively with the refugee leaders to help implement the action plans.

Sebit said they have held many similar trainings and community dialogues bringing together refugees and host communities to identify conflict sensitive issues and devise amicable ways of addressing them.

There have been some conflicts around water facilities, food distribution points, tribalism and other domestic issues in the camp, refugees say. However, they have struggled to solve with the help of the top administration.

Rachel Kuol, a refugee in Rhino camp, who also serves in a church, said South Sudanese should desist from tribal practices and coexist peacefully despite ethnic differences. She emphasized the need to counsel many refugees suffering from the trauma and tribalism in the camp to restore hope and inclusivity.
South Sudan's war has left some families separated, lost their loved ones and properties destroyed, Rachel recalled.

"We, in the church will not tolerate tribalism” Lugala John, another Church representative agreed.

Anna Annet, vice Refugees Welfare Committee - RWC1 in the camp, said she would focus on evangelizing peace, forgiveness and reconciliation among the refugees in the camp. Annet said she had some family issues bothering her and making it hard to forgive and be reconciled with a family member. But without giving details about the family matter, she said: "I have forgiven her and willing to pay school fees to her children to attend school".

She "realized in the workshop that forgiveness gives us ", calling on South Sudanese to stop the war, forgive one another for a lasting peace to prevail.

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