Stories: Uganda

  • Women carry the burden of Ugandan war trauma

    Beatrice Adyero* woke up one July morning in 2002 to news that completely shattered her life. Her husband, four sons, and a daughter-in-law were among 56 civilians abducted and killed by the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group. Her youngest granddaughter, only two-years-old, wasn’t spared either. Nearly 16 years after the slaughter of her family, Adyero still struggles to...

  • In Northern Uganda, Male Mentors Spread the Word on Family Planning

    GULU, UGANDA – When Josephine Lamwaka was growing up, she watched her father abuse her mother almost every day, sometimes even threatening to kill her with a machete. Lamwaka’s father also forbade her mother from using contraception or visiting the local family planning clinic. With her parents as her only model for marriage, Lamwaka, 30, didn’t expect...

  • In Uganda, Fostering a World Without Adoption

    In 2011, a young Ugandan woman I’ll call Evelyn learned she was HIV-positive when she was six months pregnant. Her husband’s family blamed her for the diagnosis, and declared they would find him a new wife. Newly alone and vulnerable, Evelyn was at a loss when she learned her newborn son “Joshua” was positive...

  • Life Has Hills

    “We wanted to have Christmas.” It was December 2014, and as Moses looked around his hovel in a slum in Kampala, Uganda, there was just one thing of significant monetary value: his boyfriend John’s old laptop. So they sold it. With the $55 they got, they bought ingredients for a lavish Christmas dinner: two live chickens ($11), potatoes (55 cents),...

  • ‘I Forgot I Hated God’

    “I had a dream.” We are sitting in a restaurant in Kampala, Uganda, with Dennis, a Protestant lay chaplain, when he recounts a dream inspired by a painting in his house. The painting depicts Matthew 19:14, in which Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as...

  • Unshakable in Uganda

    Clare Byarugaba was in church on a Sunday in 2009 when her pastor urged his congregation to sign a petition backing antigay legislation being considered in Uganda’s parliament. She surveyed the massive sanctuary of her evangelical megachurch in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. “How many gay people,” she wondered, “are in this place?” Most of...

  • African Bishop Fights to Get Children to Iowa

    Natalia Peni remembers sprinting into the skin-scraping bush, stilling her breath and hoping for dawn. Soldiers from the Lord's Resistance Army looted her family's home and many others in Yambio, South Sudan, that night in 2006. She was 10. Her father, Samuel Enosa Peni, an Episcopal cleric, was away. She narrowly escaped with her siblings and mother. But neighbors were...

  • Making Home: The Legacy of Ugandan Asians in the UK

    A new exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society is to commemorate the legacy of Ugandan Asians in the UK. The culmination of a year-long oral history project about the impact of Idi Amin's expulsion of Asians from Uganda in 1972, it reveals rarely seen materials and stories whose origins reach back more than a century and provides online...

  • Conservatives’ Other Kenyan Obsession

    Stateside, the warm ties between U.S. evangelicals and conservative African clerics are visible only in glimpses: the footage of Sarah Palin’s Assembly of God church hosting a minister who cast out demons, the notorious Kill the Gays bill in Uganda. But a new report casts light on how, with relatively little funding, American social conservatives are trying...