Dear Aninga Project Supporters,
We are hearing from you through email, Facebook and Twitter about the KONY 2012 campaign by the American NGO Invisible Children that has gone viral on YouTube and Twitter (#STOPKONY). It is very important for you to understand that by supporting The Aninga Project you are already fighting Joseph Kony.
While we consistently try to stay focused on the great work that we are doing in Uganda, we are all too aware of the horrific things have happened in the north as a result of this man. The first time that I traveled to Uganda I met a woman who was kidnapped when she was a young girl by Kony’s men. She was asleep at her boarding school and was taken with her classmates from their dormitory in the middle of the night. All of the girls were bound and taken through the woods towards the Sudanese border. One of the teachers from the boarding school bravely followed Kony’s men through the night and managed to negotiate the release of a number of girls; the woman I met was one of the lucky ones who was let go. The rest of the girls were taken to Sudan where Kony’s current stronghold lies. Some have returned since covered with scars and carrying babies; others were never seen again.
Stories like this and seeing people with scars, burn marks and missing limbs helped to motivate The Aninga Project to become the organization it is now. We send girls to school in safe locations where they do not have to worry constantly about being kidnapped or raped and where they can focus on their studies. We support a girl from Sudan, Faiza, who made the long treck down to Arua in order to avoid Kony’s men who often ambush villages in the area where she lives. Once Faiza was settled in Uganda her parents sent the rest of her siblings to Uganda to keep them safe also.
While interviewing teachers in Koboko District last summer – five minutes from where Kony grew up – Edron and I were welcomed with open arms and praised for taking on the challenge of educating the girl child in Northern Uganda. Teaching professionals in this area of the country consider it to be roughly three decades behind the rest of Uganda in academic development as a result of the conflict Kony caused in the region. Not only is The Aninga Project helping to support girls from Sudan and Uganda gain a safe education, we are also helping to repair the damage that Kony has caused on the Ugandan side of the border.
It is a positive thing that Kony’s name and face are all over the media, Facebook and Twitter thanks to Invisible Children. We would welcome his being brought to justice. In the meantime, we are very excited that we have been working since 2007 to try to make life better for girls and future generations in East Africa.
Thank you for your support,