We Are Changing!

We are changing!.png

Once again we are giving the opportunity for our Ugandan brother’s and sister’s to SHINE!

Africa Arise will no longer be on the SIM Canada website!

Take a minute and read through this post where we ask Tricia (Founder of Africa Arise) a few questions to find out how this BIG CHANGE has happened.

When did Africa Arise begin?

I came to Uganda full time in 2010. But I didn’t begin Africa Arise until 2011.

Tell us about when you first went to Acholi Quarter.

When I originally came to Uganda I was serving a children’s home in Kampala. My desire was always to serve the Acholi people in northern Uganda but every avenue I pursued in that direction was not opening. I was stuck in Kampala when I really wanted to be in the northern region of the country. After being in Uganda for about four months, some friends from Canada came for a visit. While they were here we were encouraged to go into a slum called, “Acholi Quarter” to pray and encourage those we would meet. We went to the slum and my heart fell in love that day. The Lord spoke and showed me clearly that this was where I was to start ministry. Everyone in that slum was actually from the northern region of the country. They had all come to the slum because of the LRA war. I realized that God had kept the doors closed in northern Uganda because there were so many from northern Uganda right there in the city of Kampala that He wanted me to serve. I spent the next few months listening to painful stories of war of those that lived in Acholi Quarter. I met former child soldiers. I met men and women that had been forced to witness some of the most graphic and painful things. I met children that didn’t choose to be born in the slum - but because of war their opportunity at a life from their home village was lost.

What was the first thing that you felt the people of Acholi Quarter needed?

Day after day I spent listening to painful stories of the war in northern Uganda. I knew that trauma counseling was urgently needed for those in the the slum. In the midst of fleeing their homes due to the war many were exposed to very traumatic circumstances. On top of all of that, they were not living at their home. They were living in limbo - wondering when or if they would be able to return back to their homes.

How did you actually begin trauma counseling?

So, I knew that I would not be able to do the actual counseling. I couldn’t speak the Acholi language and I didn’t know the culture. I began asking around if there was any Acholi people doing trauma counseling in the northern part of the country. Everyone kept telling me about this guy named Benson Ocen. I made a few trips to the north to meet Benson and share with him about the needs in Acholi Quarter and the vision I had. It took time, but the Lord finally spoke to Benson and he came to Kampala. His wife Ruth would follow him shortly afterwards and they began working with me at Africa Arise.

So, where did I Live Again Uganda come from?

In the early days of meeting, Benson had shared with me that he and his wife had started a small community based organization called, “I Live Again Uganda.” He showed me all his paperwork, the vision, the goals… it amazed me that many of the things that he had desired to do with his organization were actually the same as what I had hoped to do with Africa Arise. I was foolish at that time. I was prideful. I told him that his vision was great but we would continue to do my vision of Africa Arise.

When did Africa Arise begin empowering I Live Again Uganda?

We began working together as Africa Arise in May 2011. By April 2012, the Lord told me that how I was doing ministry in Uganda was not how He had wanted. The name alone, “Africa Arise” was suppose to be about Africans. Here I was trying be the boss when it was always suppose to be about the Ugandans. The phrase “restoring identity for generations to come” was part of the the vision of Africa Arise. It wasn’t suppose to be about me - it was suppose to be about Africans. It was suppose to be about recognizing and helping Africans see that they were gifted and called by God to do great things. That is the truth! I really believe it. God has gifted Africans and given them the ability to transform and bring change to their own nations and beyond. When you meet incredibly gifted individuals like Benson you can see that God is at work within Africa. So, when I realized that I was doing it all wrong I took the step back. Instead of Benson and Ruth serving me at Africa Arise we made the switch. Instead, Africa Arise would now begin empowering and serving I Live Again Uganda. It was their time to shine.

We know that you were doing programs in Acholi Quarter, but when did programs begin in the northern region of the country begin?

So, I Live Again Uganda had already started doing trauma counseling programs in the villages in the northern region of the country that were directly affected by the war. It was basic. They didn’t have much financial backing. When we decided to empower and serve the vision of I Live Again Uganda then we got behind the programs in the northern region. So, we had the programs in Acholi Quarter and then began developing the programs in the northern region as well. Right now, in both locations we are doing trauma counseling, discipleship and community development. Resettlement is for the Acholi Quarter programs only because we resettle families from their back to their villages in the northern region of the country.

Ok. So when did SIM Canada come into the picture?

After realizing that I personally needed more support and to see the vision of Africa Arise and I Live Again Uganda grow we approached SIM Canada about the work we were doing here in Uganda. I presented the vision of Africa Arise to SIM Canada in 2016 and they graciously took us on and welcomed I Live Again Uganda to be our partner in Uganda. We are so grateful for SIM Canada. Our working with SIM Canada has helped I Live Again Uganda expand and grow to reach more victims of war.

Why can’t we find the Africa Arise project on the SIM Canada website now?

Good question! I feel that its time to once again let our brother’s and sister’s here in Uganda be known. I really believe in the work they are doing here. I’ve seen it in action. I’ve seen it grow. I’ve see victims or war completely transformed through the work I Live Again is doing. Its been a process to get to this point. I am once again taking the step back and letting the people of Africa shine.

You are right. When you search for “Africa Arise” under the projects section on the SIM Canada website you won’t find us. If you search for “I Live Again Uganda” you will find, “Trauma Counseling and Resettlement - I Live Again Uganda” and “Refugee Trauma Care - I Live Again Uganda” on the SIM Canada website though! I Live Again Uganda has developed and continues to develop and change the lives of so many affected by war. They are so gifted and good at what they do and I don’t want Africa Arise to overshadow or bring confusion to people that want to partner with the work here. The reality is that whenever you have given to Africa Arise in the past you have been giving to all the programs of I Live Again Uganda. We have officially removed Africa Arise off the SIM Canada website and added I Live Again Uganda. We have done this because its time to once again let Africans shine. I want the world to know how gifted the crew are here that I work with in Uganda. I want them to know that God is using them in great, big, transformational ways!

What will happen to people that were donating to Africa Arise?

Nothing. We just want you be aware that the name of the project on the website has changed. The financial gifts that people were giving was going towards the programs of I Live Again Uganda already. The financial gifts will continue to come to Uganda.

So, what about you? Will you stop serving in Uganda now that things are changing?

Absolutely not. I have no plans at this point to stop serving here in Uganda and the I Live Again Uganda team. I’m still a missionary under SIM Canada and the Project Manager for SIM Canada for the work of I Live Again Uganda. I will continue to serve here in Uganda for as long as the Lord will allow me to. I obviously do go to Canada for fundraising, that has always been part of my work here in Uganda.

Can you remind me of the project names on the SIM Canada website for I Live Again Uganda?

Sure.

“Trauma Counseling and Resettlement - I Live Again Uganda” This project provides Trauma Counseling, Discipleship, Resettlement and Community Development. This project is for all the Acholi Quarter programs and the programs in the villages in the northern region of Uganda that were directly affected by the war.

The other project listed under SIM Canada is “Refugee Trauma Care - I Live Again Uganda.” We have recently begun providing trauma counseling to the South Sudanese refugees in Uganda. There are over 1,000,000 refugees in the country right now. We are thankful that the governing authorities and the UNHCR have allowed us to bring trauma counseling into the refugee settlements in the country.

What will happen to Africa Arise?

Good question! For now, I will be using it to share, train and promote how to have healthy cross cultural partnerships, to give dignity to those being served and expose the beauty of Africa.

Thanks! Anything else you would want to add?

Thanks. Yes. I really want to encourage anyone that has supported us or followed us in any way to get connected with I Live Again Uganda. You can go to their website, connect with them on Facebook and Instagram and sign up for updates. They are really good at what they do and I believe that God is going to use them in big ways!

Here are few helpful links for you:

The I Live Again Uganda website:

www.ilauganda.org

To give To the Acholi Quarter and northern Uganda programs provided by I Live Again Uganda:

Trauma Counseling and Resettlement - I Live Again Uganda

To give to the South Sudanese Refugee trauma counseling programs provided by I Live Again Uganda:

Refugee Trauma Care - I Live Again Uganda