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Dealing with the Past: Support to Local Memorial Initiatives and Strengthening of Victims’ Associations in northern Uganda

During the Lord’s Resistance Army war in northern Uganda, communities suffered mass massacres leading to the death of several people. However, the organization of memory events to memorize those that died continues to be a challenge. The victims’ associations that exist are weak, divided, and lacking vibrancy and clear objectives. Many of these communities in which the LRA committed human rights violations lack proper memorials and activities that unite and bring conflict survivors together. Northern Uganda as a region that suffered conflict does not have a day on which victims of the conflict are remembered and honored. Generally, northern Uganda as a region lacks appreciation for memory and memorialization as evidenced by the few numbers of CSOs that are working on memory activities in the region. With support from Robert Bosch Stiftung this project sought to address this prevailing gap in memory and memorialization, and strengthening of victims’ associations, in northern Uganda. The overall goal of the project was to contribute to promoting healing and recovery for conflict survivors in northern Uganda. Over a period of one year, activities such as support to community memory events, documentation and profiling of victim groups, advocacy and operational support to Lukodi community memory center were implemented as reported below.

Community Engagement

Support to Community Memory Events

In many communities across northern Uganda that suffered massacres during the conflict, survivors continue to struggle with how to come to terms with what happened to them. Annual memorial prayers play an important role in fostering healing by enabling victims and survivors to remember their loved ones. FJDI supported 12 communities across northern Uganda to conduct annual memorial prayers. As a result of these engagements, FJDI reached over 5,000 community members across northern Uganda.