Daniel says growing up during the war with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LR) in northern Uganda badly affected him. Seeing his parents killed before his eyes and his brother and sister abducted caused him unimaginable pain, so Daniel closed his mind to ever seeing anything good in his future.
As Daniel grew from a child into a young man he blamed the rebel soldiers and God for taking his parents and his siblings. He took every opportunity to steal from people whose life was better than his. He now thanks God for the opportunity to come to Kira, as he believes the village would have killed him because of the amount of pain and loss he caused them all.
Through Kira’s discipleship (holistic life skills) programme and the love he received from the Kira staff, he gradually started to heal from much of the pain he’d faced in life. While on Kira he came to experience a personal relationship with God, love, and a purpose in life. This started the healing process of being at peace with himself and the people around him.
A new person
Daniel says, going back home wasn’t easy. ‘I knew I had to face many people I had hurt by stealing their food, animals and belongings, but I was confident I had changed and things would be different from now on. In no time at all the village noticed the change in me. They were surprised to see me going to church and that nothing had been stolen, even though I was back.’
‘I used the opportunity of the church youth group meetings to share my life and the changes I had achieved through my time at Amigos’ Kira Farm. Since then I was the talk of the village - but this time in a positive way! People started smiling when they saw me.
‘One of the richest men in a nearby town who owned a construction company got to hear about me. He had reported me to police on several occasions for stealing from his building sites. I was very surprised when he called me for a building job and at first I was worried that he wanted to hand over to the police for past offences.
‘When I met him I immediately apologised and explained what had happened to my parents and how it affected my whole outlook on life thanks to the restorative approaches training I had received at Kira. Much to my surprise he offered me a job and has been delighted with my new work ethic - On Time, High Standards, Minimum Wastage and doing everything With Joy (Kira Farm values).
‘Within months he promoted me from being a bricklayer earning £5 a day, to a building site supervisor at one of his large sites in Entebbe. One of my jobs is to make sure nothing is stolen from the sites I work at. I am also using this opportunity to tell the other builders of the change that has come about in my life. As soon as I find anyone stealing I share my story of transformation, restorative approaches and my new relationship with our boss. It’s really made them think and I have seen many of them experience the same transformation I did.
‘As a way of giving back to my community, when I have saved enough money I am looking to set up a small training project to help young people gain vocational skills back home in Lira. I will start with the families I hurt the most and I’m saving £50 a month to achieve this dream.’
Help a young person, like Daniel, today
Amigos Worldwide is a registered Charity/NGO both in the UK and Uganda.
Amigos Worldwide, Registered in England, Company Number 6122350, Registered Charity Number 1119450
Registered Office 7A Beech Grove, Pilton, Barnstaple, Devon. EX31 1PZ
(Amigos International and Amigos are working names of Amigos Worldwide)