On the 19th of September the Trauma Healing team travelled to the Gulu site to train and launch the THEA programs in Acholi Sub region. Having started over three years ago with the face to face equipping of the Church and community servants with Biblical resources that enable them to help traumatised people recover, the equipping resources were recorded into audio drama episodes to be aired on radios so as to reach a wider range of people hurting.

The drama episodes begun airing in July on radios Maria and Rupiny in Gulu District and Radios Maria, Prime, Namirembe and Impact in Kampala. As a result of listening to the drama episodes, over 150 people have called seeking for help through the call back lines. Therefore answering to the increasing demand for Trauma Healing in the region, a training to equip more caregivers within the region, especially the districts surrounding Gulu was necessary.

A three days’ training with certified Trauma Healing Facilitators and caregivers within Gulu, together with Church leaders from the Districts of Amuru, Lamwo, Nwoya, Agago, Omoro, Pader, Kitgum, Kiriandongo was organised starting Wednesday 21st September to Friday 23rd September 2016 at St. Monica Training Institute. Others like the police in charge of the children and family protection unit, media persons from Radio Maria and Rupiny joined the training to be equipped.

The bigger picture of the program is to see people of every community in Acholi sub-region living a life free of any hindrance to engaging with God’s word and developing. With the reality of post-war trauma compounded by joblessness and poverty brought about as a result of foreign NGO’s leaving Acholi sub-region, post traumatic stress disorder has become a formidable force of evil to reckon with, which if not dealt with in time, will likely be a recipe for the destruction of generations to come. This THEA Radio strategy training was therefore very crucial and timely.

With the pressing need for trauma healing in the South Sudan boarding district of Adjumani, the facilitators and caregivers within Northern Uganda can be of help local communities to deal with post-war trauma and its negative effects. The training involved listening to the episodes and equipping them with skills of helping and listening to the hurting people.
The training was attended by 54 people, as follows; 10 Roman Catholics, 17 Anglicans, 11 Pentecostals, 5 SDAs, 5 Baptists, 1 Orthodox, 3 Media Persons, 1 Police Representative and 1 health person. Of these 12 were female and 42 were male. The equipping (training) was done by Justus Rubarema, Esther Achieng and Alfred Angudubo
The training achieved the following objectives:

  • Explanations of the Radio Broadcasts was given to key partners
  • The drama episodes were listened to, discussed with the participants in view with the Healing Wounds of Trauma material for efficiency and improvement of Drama episodes.
  • We discussed ways forward especially for sustainability and handling of callers and holding healing groups that are THEA focused.

THEA Launch
It was a beautiful thing in Gulu town the afternoon of Friday 23rd September 2016 as the training culminated in a very colourful march through Gulu Town, making it known to everyone that THEA was in Gulu and Acholi sub-region. Following the lead of the Uganda Police and youthful brass band of St. Mauritz, the participants carried placards displaying thoughts, lessons learned, messages and scriptures to the public, marching from the training venue at St. Monica through Jomo Kenyatta Road and Gulu main street up to the launch venue at Acholi Inn. The team was joined by ABS representative Mr. James Cartford who came to witness the training and launch of the THEA program.

At the Launch Venue, the band ushered in the procession together with media persons who were received by BSU General Secretary Mr. Simon Peter Mukhama, the Bishop of Northern Uganda Rt. Rev. Johnson Gakumba and representative of the Archbishop of Gulu Archdiocese, Rev. Dr. Father Lawrence Komaketch.

The Bishop issued participants with certificates of authorisation and commissioned them to go out and help the hurting hearts. He then declared THEA project officially LAUNCHED!!!

We give all the praise, honour and glory to God Almighty for this great achievement. We look forward to seeing a Northern Uganda fully qualified and equipped by the word of God to do every kind of good deed, as God’s word brings life to the region.

By Esther Achieng