In Kitgum, Uganda, at the Mucwini site, we met Lydia. Lydia is a middle-aged woman whose husband was killed by the rebel group of the Lord’s Resistance Army. They also abducted her older son and forced him to become a child soldier. Lydia was left with four children, alone and depressed.
These traumatic events made Lydia lose her confidence in life.
Thanks to Peter C. Adelman Foundation’s (PCAF) support, Lydia was given the opportunity to attend some women group therapy sessions. In these sessions, Lydia met other woman who, like herself, were trying to rebuild their lives. They were all in dire need of motivation to be able to work for their futures.
After some sessions, and with the constructive relationship she established with PCAF’s social worker, Jean Laker, Lydia regained a positive attitude. This change attracted other people from the community to participate in the group therapy sessions.
During our meeting, Lydia herself suggested becoming involved in the therapy sessions again, as a peer. This is one of the major successes of the model implemented by PCAF: persons who once needed support are now becoming key figures in their community, making their time and experiences available to help others.
People have challenges, but they have also significant potentials and strengths. There is a need to build on these resources so that a person can function again at all levels and can become a tool of change both for themselves and for the community.