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September 23


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Teresa Enrico
September 30 or
October 1

RC in Lira, Uganda

A few years ago I attended an RC workshop led by Pamela Haines1 and Chuck Esser2 in Gulu (Uganda). The presentation on goal setting helped me set priorities for myself and see myself as a new person. My fellow students noticed that whenever people had problems, they came to me. They also saw that I was often smiling and happy, which was not the case before. They asked me what my secret was.

Two boys from Lira, from a different tribal group than mine, were particularly interested. They were leaders in the school with me. I told them what my life was like before I became acquainted with RC, what it was like afterward, and how I handled my issues with other students. For example, a girl started hating me and was harsh and rude after I won an election. People wondered how I would handle it. I didn’t return her hatred, and people were surprised.

I called my grandmother, Abitimo Odongkara,3 and asked her about starting an RC group. The two boys from Lira started meeting with me on Sundays. We also had Co-Counseling sessions with each other. Then they wanted to share RC ideas with others in their village. The group grew to about thirty. At times they would call me up, while they were all there as a group, and we would talk about RC over the phone. For example, we discussed the pamphlet How to Begin RC.

I got financial help for transport from my grandmother and started to go to Lira monthly. D—’s father offered his motorbike, and R—’s father refueled it. That made it easier to travel to the village. The parents didn’t hesitate to provide us with whatever we needed. Maybe they saw some impact on their children’s lives.

Five members of the Lira group came to the five-day fundamentals workshop we had in Gulu. After that, Chuck and I held a class for the group in Lira. They now have a deeper understanding of RC and plan to continue. A number of people set up buddies for when they leave the village and go back to school at the end of the month.

This village has been especially affected by the war. Some of the youth were not going to school and were not doing anything. The goal setting helped them. Even before the workshop in Gulu, they had found things to do and had begun some projects. Today one of the boys told me that he might be going to school next year, due to his efforts at farming to get himself money. Also, R— can now pay for school as a result of the goal-setting sessions I had with him.

I suggested that we not add more people to the group before we fully understand RC and take it into our lives. When we understand RC so well that people out there appreciate our ways, then they will come to join us. First we need to strengthen our group.

Atune Naume
Kampala, Uganda
(dictated to Chuck Esser and Pamela Haines)

1 Pamela Haines is the Area Reference Person for part of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
2 Chuck Esser is the International Commonality Reference Person for Family Work, and the Regional Reference Person for New Jersey, USA.
3 Abitimo Odongkara is the Area Reference Person for North Uganda.


Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00