New Agriculturist Focus on /6 Focus on Agriculture after conflict

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Teaching to teach

Many of the children that attend school in Gulu suffer trauma. They have either been directly involved in the war, drafted among 20,000 other child soldiers by the LRA, or they may be disturbed by the return of their classmates from the bush. For these children, the Food for Thought programme can offer a different kind of educational reform. It promotes an entrepreneurial spirit. "This helps the next generation to be self-reliant in the future," says Boniface.

For Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, agricultural programmes such as the Food for Thought programme offers therapeutic support for children suffering the effects of trauma. She teaches vocational courses at St Monica Girls Tailoring Centre in Gulu, which besides tailoring and catering, feature agricultural skills for former child soldiers. "We need to develop people so they can cope in the future," she says. "Many of these girls are not accepted by their families when they return from the bush. So it is very important for them to be self-reliant, to know what to grow for their children. It is a way of rehabilitating them indirectly because it brings them a sense of dignity."

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