Helping Refugees in Uganda
Monsignor Cosmas Alule, the rector of the major seminary in Alokolum, in the Diocese of Gulu in northern Uganda, spoke recently to the international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). During the interview, he told representatives of the charity how the refugee camp that had built up around the seminary during the time of the Civil War was now becoming progressively emptier, with around 80% of the refugees having returned to their home villages.
But that doesn’t mean that the struggles end there. Many of the adults, Father Alule says, in the refugee camps had in many cases forgotten how to earn their own living, and an entire generation has grown up not knowing a normal life. An important part is played here by the older generation, who have preserved their traditional values and are now able to pass them on to the younger people, he said.
Many people also remain deeply traumatized, having witnessed such horrors as their own mothers, sisters and wives being raped, children abducted and their fellow humans murdered. In order to help such people, a number of pastoral workers are now specially being trained in a center set up for this purpose by the Diocese of Gulu.