Work area

The Lira and Apac districts are predominantly populated by the Langi tribe. These people normally live in rural villages, where they have their gardens and cattle. They sell or trade their surplus, which enables them to earn a little money to buy other necessities. This had been going on for a very long time. Then in 1986 the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) started their rebellion activities. Also, from the east, came Karimojong cattle rustlers. Gone were the days of old. No more peace, no more prosperity. Life changed from peace to fear. The LRA rebels burn the villages, abduct the children, kill the parents and perform all kinds of atrocities. People have left everything to run for safety.
Over 500.000 displaced people were living in Lira town. Over 1.500.000 displaced people were living in refugee camps all over Northern Uganda. Many families  became destitute and many children have become orphans. The traditional Ugandan way of extended families can no longer work. Besides the rebels and cattle rustlers, people suffer from HIV/AIDS and tropical malaria, leaving even more children to fend for themselves.

The disruption of the economic base of the district made education almost impossible to afford. Livestock being the main source of income for school fees. The government sponsors the building and the teachers, but not the uniforms, shoes, socks, exercise books, textbooks, pens and so on. School fees or development fees have to be paid to help pay the wages of teachers, renovate school buildings, buy benches to sit on, etc. With no surplus to sell, where does the money come from?

The Government has now introduced "free" primary and secondary education (O level) but unfortunately this isn't free. An admission letter now reads among others:

fees:                   41.000 sh
pta contribution: 360.000 sh
development fee:120.000 sh
The Government pays the 41.000 sh, the rest is still up to the parents to pay.

 Very many seek accommodation with relatives who are in town, thus creating problems of feeding a large number of people. A lot of other local (community) organizations are coming to LindA Foundation to seek working relationships, as our organization is already making a big impact, just by being there. We give them hope, give them the idea that the world is not forgetting them. They have the idea that our Foundation has the funds and the knowledge to help them with the orphans and the needy people. We have told them that LindA Foundation welcomes the chance to work together, by sharing the “know how”. But like them, we are lacking funds. We are finding that many more orphans are in fact in need of total care.  

At present there are peace talks going on between the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Ugandan Government. This has resulted in the government urging the people to leave the camps and go back home (World Food Programme is not bringing anymore food to the camps). But when they do so, they are harassed by the Karimojong. And then, there is nothing to go home to, as all has been destroyed. These poor people cannot win.

Lira town is a major commercial centre in the Sub-region. It is strategically located and connects the other towns and districts of Kotido, Pader, Kole, Oyam, Dokolo, Apac, Soroti, Kaberamaido, and Kitgum, in the north. The Langi are a social tribe, hospitable and quite adaptive to new approaches for development. As a result of the start of missionary work in the colonial days, the majority of the Langi are Christians (98%) the rest being Moslems. Atheism is unheard of.