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Kasese Violence Victims Seek Psycho-social Support in USA

By Jerome Kule Bitswande

At least two young adults who have been victims of mass violence in Kasese have been selected to attend the Project Common Bond–a psychosocial symposium– in Philadelphia, United States.

Project Common Bond is an annual event that brings together young adults from around the world who share a common bond –the loss of a family member due to an act of terrorism, violence and or war.

The program brings together victims from around 30 countries where war has happened for a long time including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Kosovo and Northern Ireland.

The Project Common Bond is hosted by US-based Tuesday’s Children, a non-profit family service organisation that works towards supporting victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attack in US and victims of war and violent extremism across the world.

Johncation Muhindo, the Team Leader at Creations Forum Afrika-CAF, under whose auspices the two were selected identifies the beneficiary persons as Brina Muhindo and Rabson Thembo.

Brina Muhindo recently dropped out of school after completion of senior six due to lack of school fees. His father was one of the more than 100 royal guards who were killed when the army raided the palace of Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere in 2016 while Rabson Thembo lost several relatives during the ADF incursion in Kasese.

CAF is a non-governmental organisation that works on governance and peace building in the Rwenzori sub region.

Johncation Muhindo says with his experience in peace-building in the Rwenzori, he has come to the realisation that so many victims especially widows and children have deep-seated wounds for losing their loved ones.

Muhindo adds that those who have dropped out of school because their breadwinner was killed in any of the conflicts apportion blame to other parties especially government for their predicament. Such entrenched anger, he says, is ground for more conflict in the near future.

We hope that these kinds of exposure will offer an opportunity for these young people to learn from their fellows across the world who have also suffered loss of close relatives at the hands of mass violence and other acts of terrorism. Muhindo says, adding that; “They should learn how to cope and hope for a better future. This is a vital element in the healing process.”

Muhindo adds that this is what informed his decision to partner with Tuesday’s Children which has more than two-decade experience in supporting victims of violent extremism and mass violence.

The human rights activist revealed that their participation in the project common bond follows two years of online interactions of these young adults with their peers across the world.

He hopes that the Common Bond will offer a platform for these two young men to engage in a dialogue of healing and community building activities that enhance their interpersonal communication and conflict negotiation skills, promote dignity and empower them as agents of positive change in their lives and communities in general. The week-long symposium is being hosted at Bryn Mawr, PA USA from July 16 to 24th.

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