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Building peace through plays, poems and dance in Northern Uganda

08.12.2015  08:04

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ARLPI and Embassy Team in front of the ARLPI office in Gulu.

ARLPI started out in 1997 as a collective of religious leaders from six different religious denominations, mediating in the conflict between the Government of Uganda and Lord's Resistance Army. The conflict ended in 2006 after 20 years of fighting and saw an estimated 100,000 killed, up to 20,000 children abducted and 1,5 million people displaced. Since the end of the war, ARLPI has played a key role in local communities in the districts of Pader, Gulu, Kitgum, Agogo, Amuru and Nwoya, focusing on mediating in land conflicts, promoting peace, reconciliation and conflict resolution.

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Welcoming dance at Dure Primary School.

With support from Danida, ARLPI is currently carrying out a number of activities. One of these is support to local Peace Clubs in the communities.

Through developing and performing poems, dances and plays focused on themes prevalent in their community such as land conflicts or gender based violence, pupils learn about and pass on messages of conflict mediation.

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Peace Club in Dure Primary School performing a song on gender based violence

Other activities ARLPI carries out are Peace Rings where village communities elect 20 members to form a Peace Ring. The Peace Ring members are trained in order to mediate when conflict arises within the community. As with the Peace Clubs, the Peace Ring members also perform plays based on challenges the community faces. After performance, the audience is welcomed to give comments and thoughts triggered by the play, thereby opening up a dialogue on issues that can be difficult to deal with.                

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Peace Ring members in Adilang sub district performing a play on Domestic Violence.