Building a Culture of Peace Across Africa and Beyond
We provide support to Peace & Reconciliation Ministries in Africa (PRMA) to empower northern Ugandan communities in the Lango sub region and to resolve conflict. Founded by Dickson Ogwang, PRMA provides reconciliation training and peacemaking intervention through conflict coaching, meditation, and arbitration to families, individuals, churches, and clans.
The Background: During the 1970s the brutal dictator Idi Amin converted Uganda to a socialist system declaring that all land was “public land.” This action threw the formal real estate system of Uganda into chaos. Property, whether private, commercial or tribal became a matter of verbal agreements and physical possession.
With the fall of Idi Amin came civil war of the most vicious possible kind. In particular, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), infamous for its use of child soldiers, ravaged the north. Violence became a way of life for an entire generation of northern Ugandans, and millions were forced to flee their homes. The war raged for a quarter of a century.
As the government of Uganda gradually forced the LRA back, the people of northern Uganda returned to their homes. However, after twenty-five years of war, claims of ownership could not be verified and property lines only existed in memory. Children who grew up in camps for refugees or Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) might never even have seen their family’s land.
The Need: Land disputes turned bloody as the overloaded courts could not effectively process claims. Without formal titles to the land they farmed, families could be driven off their land by corrupt officials or roaming bandits. In one of the poorest regions in the world, land security directly translated into food security. Driven by desperate need and raised in an environment saturated with violence, people did not know any other way to respond.
Peace Through Reconciliation: Using curriculum based on Biblical principles and using the powerful testimony of Dickson Ogwang’s life, PRMA reached out to religious and tribal leaders, teaching them how to resolve disputes and create security using a system of communal land ownership very similar to that used by the tribes of Israel. In 2005 PRMA partnered with our very own Sam Casey, the managing director and general counsel of our Law of Life Project. Together, Sam and Dickson raised over $125,000 and trained over 250 tribal leaders around Lira to resolve disputes and create workable solutions.
This ministry of peace and reconciliation images the Gospel in a wonderful way and Jubilee Campaign is glad to support them.