Words from the Archbishop

Northern Uganda region continues to transition towards full recovery to peace. And although most of the people have since returned to their original homes, some of the communities still require significant support in forms of social, political and economic interventions if lives are to improve. At post conflict, the area is experiencing such challenges as land grabbing and land wrangles, education and health needs are numerous and economic hardship wide spread. There are several government programs that have been implemented and some continue to be designed to respond to the various needs but a lot still remain to be realized. Anew nation of South Sudan has emerged and relations between the two communities continue to build. Political, economic and social systems are evidently maturing and prosperous initiatives and interventions including the opening of Gulu – Juba highway/route are of significance to the archdiocese.

In all parts of the archdioceses communities have begun to reconstruct their lives. Many people have gone back to farming and other economic activities as processes of rebuilding the area. Agricultural projects that are the mainstay of development working the area are being supported by CARITAS in most communities. Social support, and emergency, relief and rehabilitation programs are also being implemented.

Many humanitarian organizations have already withdrawn from Northern Ugandato respond to active conflicts and emergencies elsewhere. A few of the remaining humanitarian groups are those whose focuses are on post conflict development and are responding to such efforts as work on inter-community tensions and re-building, curbing corruption in government, security forces, peace and justice and food security. CARITAS continues to make contributions to these efforts.

Gulu Archdiocese is experiencing rapid growth in the number of childrenand youth partly as a result of adolescent and teenage pregnancies and from the general high population growth in the area. Children and youth are therefore unique population groups with peculiarneedsthat require purposeful interventions especially in the education and health sectors. We should continue to support these target groups with special skills, access to youth friendly services, child mother interventions and rehabilitation and teaching on parenting and community responsibilities.

In the coming years, CARITAS Gulu Archdiocese seeks to develop a new approach to strategic development which incorporates a framework for learning and capacity measurement, both for Caritas as an organization and communities it serves. While some of the initiatives will continue to address specific interventions in its four focus area – social services, emergency relief and rehabilitation, development and livelihood and well as institutional capacity building, one of the major intentions under these investments is to build capacity of the communities to address most common problems independently and in sustainable ways.

On behalf of the Archdiocese and on my own behalf I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to all funding partners who have been rendering support to CARITAS Gulu Archdiocese in its pursuit to provide services in the Acholi Sub region and beyond. I particularly want to thank Caritas Germany, CAFOD UK, CRS, Caritas Norway, Caritas Austria, Caritas Uganda, CORDAID, UNICEF, UNHCR, FAO, ECHO, Concern Worldwide, Trocaire, GORTA EU, CRS, HORIZON 3000, Caritas Prague-Czech Republic, Autonomous District of Bolzano, ICCO, HelpAge International, AVSI-Uganda, UUSC, Individual benefactors of Caritas Gulu Archdiocese, and both the Local and the Central Government of Uganda for their most valued support.

In a special way I would like to appreciate the tireless work and efforts by the Board and management staff of CARITAS Gulu Archdiocese without whom none of the work we plan to do will be realized.  I wish you all the best in the coming years.

God bless you all