Children trained to be Kingdom citizens instead of child warriors

By March 26, 2010

Uganda (MNN) — While the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is far from disbanded, it seems they have mostly cleared out of northern Uganda, with the Ugandan military pushing them farther north into the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic.

Because of this, Uganda can now begin to recover.

"In northern Uganda, the communities are beginning to revitalize and have [a] new sense of hope," said Dale Dieleman of Worldwide Christian Schools.

WWCS has been able to assemble a team in the area–made up mostly of Ugandans. Dieleman said it has taken about a year and a half to organize, incorporate, and register the team, but now they are ready to start building.

The team's first project is to construct a basic primary school. Because of the influence of the LRA, many of these children have not had the chance at an education and have been encouraged toward violence and hatred. In addition to letters and numbers, WWCS hopes to show these children the peace Christ offers.

"This is also a real opportunity for Christian education because children need alternatives to conflict resolution by violence," Dieleman said.

Once this school is established, WWCS hopes to also build an upper level primary school and eventually, a vocational school. In a country with a higher than average HIV/AIDS rate, such a school will show hope to these individuals: "Their life is not over; even if they are HIV positive, it's not a death sentence. They have a future, and God loves them. And we do, too," Dieleman said.

As WWCS tries to include Ugandans in every step of this venture, Dieleman said it will be a long, tough road, with construction on the vocational school possibly not beginning for eight years. However, he said, "We realize this will take time, but the sustainability success rate is much higher when you frontload with community investment."

The two things WWCS needs most now are prayers and funds. Click here to support WWCS and to receive updates as this project progresses.

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