Peace Begins with You

“Building Character” is the focus of Outreah Uganda’s 2012 training efforts  with all three of our Ugandan women’s groups (over 200 members), with our 160+ sponsored children and with our 300 students at the Agwata primary school in northern Uganda. The theme book for these Character Building Training efforts is entitled, “Peace Begins with You” by Katherine Scholes.  The book contains wonderful illustrations and approaches the concept of peace from many angles.

And in the end, the book concludes that peace begins with the individual in their own backyard.  After a day’s training with our Agwata beaders on character building, and talking about how ultimately building good character can help bring peace in your world, we asked the question, “how peaceful is your household?”  The women were asked to line up along a 100 foot wide length imaginary line from hut to hut with “0″ peace being at one end of the line and “10″ total peace at the other end.  This is what the line looked like: 

Peace begins with you lineup in Agwata aug2012

How peaceful is your household? Our Agwata women line up from 0 to 10.

Over 50% of the beaders were concentrated at the “0″ to “2″ area (left side) of the line while fewer than 20% were in the “5″ to “10″ section.  The photo ends on the right side at about position 8 with only 1 to 2 beaders further to the right and missing from the photo.

Later, when asked why  they were standing in the areas denoting the least “peace” many of the beaders explained that it was not necessarily that there was physical violence in their households (our monitoring had indicated this had decreased markedly in the past 1 1/2 years), but that it was more that there was the stress of not enough resources in their households whether it be food, money, clothing, medicines etc. 

And that’s a good reminder again of what it means to be poor: a lack of all kinds of resources.

Peace begins with you.

Please join us in bringing more peace and more resources into our beaders’ lives in ways that are truly affirming, empowering and sustainable.  It’s never easy.  It’s never totally clear, and it always takes longer than just giving handouts. Read about our Agwata beaders’ hopes for happiness and peace.

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