A group of former African Children’s Choir members recently visited a refugee camp in Adjumani, Northern Uganda.
Late last year 2013, a war broke out in South Sudan and many lives were lost. As a result many people fled their homes and country and ran to Uganda. These people are now refugees. The people of Northern Uganda in a district called Adjumani gave up their land to accommodate the refugees who were in their thousands.
Kiyingi Abraham (Choir 3), Sania Nakayiza (Choir 19), Sharifa Nabakooza (Choir 19) and Tom Chikam (Choir 19) brought games, storytelling, music and dance to children who have lost their homes, their family, their hope. Read their experiences below…
“Some refugees came unaccompanied by anybody even some children are in the settlement without relatives and don’t even know if they will survive. Some do not want to go back to Sudan even after the war because they know no one is there. People have lost hope and the chairman Hassan Kuku said if we can at least bring smiles and hope to the children and people that’s all they need to at least be able to live another day. But even with all the hardships and challenges these people face I could see it was true all they needed was hope and anything that would at least put a smile on their faces hence I engaged them in Bible stories and teaching them a song “Jesus is mine, everywhere I go, everywhere I be, Oh Jesus is mine” to remind them that in whatever situation they are in Jesus is always there and will be with them always.” Sania Nakayiza (Choir 19)
“At the end of the outreach, the camp commandant met with us and praised us for our efforts. And encouraged us not to sit on the news or stories we have gathered but to share them with anyone and everyone who will listen. He said, People are not supposed to be refugees or live in settlement camps. Please tell the world of their plight but do come back and continue sharing hope to them all. Thank you Music for Life, personally I really loved how these young ACC students have been inspired and want to go back. Thank you once more.” Kiyingi Abraham (Choir 3)
Sharifa shares a heartbreaking story from one of the refugees…
Each and every refugee has a unique story to tell. This is a story of a14 year old living in Boroli settlement camp in Adjumani district of North West Uganda.
“I get embarrassed when I have to introduce myself as a Sudanese refugee living in Uganda. Am not in Sudan yet am not a Ugandan citizen, so where do I belong? Will I be a refugee forever? I feel am lost in between. I arrived in Uganda late last December. I was born in Pibor town of Jonglei state. I belong to the Murle tribe of South Sudan. My father died and my mother decided we had to flee after rebels burnt down our house and killed some of our relatives. We lost everything we owned. The journey full of horror exacerbated by ugly images that we came across, like dead bodies and burnt houses all over, families along the way too tired to continue running. I still have bad memories. We reached Nimule on the boarder and there taken to the Nyumazi reception place for refugees. From here we were taken to Boroli refugee camp. I enrolled in a nearby school in primary six. This school is 6 kilometers from the camp and yet I have to walk this same distance every morning bare footed to get an education. All the history we study about is about Uganda and rarely is my home country heard about. The classes are congested and some of us study from outside through the windows. For survival we have to wait for the UN to give us some food am tired of being a beggar. When I grow up I want to become the president of South Sudan to ensure peace among all Sudanese.”
As you can see it was a humbling experience by all. We would like to continue these outreach programs so our former Choir members can keep brining joy and help to those in Africa who need our support. Find out how you can help us today.