For more than twenty years, civil war and conflict have terrorized Gulu, Northern Uganda. Nearly 30,000 children have been abducted from their families and forced to become sex slaves and child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s Lord Resistance Army (LRA).
In response to the cry of the former child soldiers, who bore the brunt of a senseless civil war, Watoto expanded its program of rescuing children to Gulu, Northern Uganda. Watoto has been actively involved in the trauma rehabilitation of former child soldiers and the greater community. Watoto also built a babies home and village in response to the orphan crisis due to the civil war. Providing medical intervention including HIV treatment and reconstructive surgeries to women who have been brutally mutilated, teaching them entrepreneurial skills so they can support their family.
“There needs to be a sense that Gulu feels I’ve got friends around the world who are coming along side me, believing in me, giving me back hope.” – Gary Skinner, Watoto Founder
Watoto is excited to see the overwhelming response on Facebook and Twitter regarding the Make KONY Famous campaign and bringing awareness to the horror of what has happened and the aftermath of the war. Watoto is actively involved in Northern Uganda helping pick up the pieces of the community trying to heal from the physical, emotional and mental scares brought on by Kony and the LRA. Although actively searching for KONY is important, as the Invisible children have pointed out, Watoto is committed to coming alongside to help the people of Northern Uganda put back the pieces of their life.