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Tutu Talks: From child of war to man of peace


In this Tutu Talk, 2011 Tutu Fellow and Ugandan peace activist Victor Ochen is using his voice of courageous leadership to champion the protection of rights of children and promote the culture of peace and tolerance.

Born in northern Uganda, he spent 21 years amidst violent conflict that displaced over three million people. More than 60,000 people - including his own brother - were forcefully abducted and recruited as child soldiers.

While only 13 years old at the time, Victor founded the Peace Club while living in the IDP camp in northern Uganda, to mobilize and counter child soldier recruitment which was being conducted as result of armed conflict between the Government of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army.

TutuTalks are a series collaboration between the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation and the African Leadership Institute, and it is a platform for African leaders who embody the values and ethics displayed by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu throughout his life of service.  Victor has said previously how he was profoundly impacted by the courage of Archbishop Desmond Tutu's resistance to Apartheid.

In this talk, he talks about growing up in refugee camps and how the conflict, violence, and atrocities led him to chart a path to fight for the rights of children.  His organisation, AYINET, has provided reconstructive medical rehabilitation to more than 21,000+ war victims.  He was the first Ugandan and youngest African to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2015.

In speaking about his education, he talks about working to be able to study, not studying to be able to work, all while trying to stay safe and hiding from forced recruitment.

Watch his talk below:

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Monday, 28 November 2022

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