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Tutu Fellows inspire at Gulu Youth Conference


Three Tutu Fellows were speakers at the Gulu Youth Conference in Northern Uganda, in which their voices were heard on social transformation in Africa.  The Fellows were Deo Arinaitwe Rugyendo (Class of 2012), Daniel Kidega (Class of 2007), and Nobel Peace Nominee Victor Ochen (Class of 2011).  The Gulu Youth Conference was organised as a way to begin a process of transformation in Northern Uganda. 

It included workshops for youth; setting up spaces for dialogue, influence and action; and to help the region begin to unlock the potential of young adults affected by the aftermath of war.  Northern Uganda is part of a region most recently subjected to attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army which ravaged the area and surrounding South Sudan, DRC, and Central African Republic.  Thousands of people were killed and abducted and close to half a million people displaced between 2008 and 2011 by the LRA.

The organisation that arranged the Gulu Youth Conference, GUYCO, focuses on African youth who have been affected by traumatic events of armed conflict.  They note that these young people, often born in the aftermath of conflict have grown up in an environment overshadowed by violence and destruction.  Living in precarious societal conditions with insecure livelihoods, young people frequently drop out of school or enter into early marriages. They suffer from drug and alcohol abuse, gambling and other vices.  GUYCO seeks to reverse this by empowering African youth and does so by partnering with governments, NGOs and established local youth centres to obtain the resources needed for this kind of work. The Gulu Youth Conference included capacity building workshops where these young adults from post-conflict regions of Northern Uganda were challenged to identify their goals, wishes and desires for the future. 

The Tutu Fellows who attended as speakers, including Victor Ochen, who has been directly involved in this kind of work for much of his adult life, provided views for the attendees of a possible future for youth in which they are able to live beyond the impacts of conflict.


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Thursday, 18 August 2022

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