New Civilization News: New Home for 150 Child-headed Families in Uganda    
 New Home for 150 Child-headed Families in Uganda1 comment
picture1 Oct 2007 @ 15:31, by Cor Richardson

As the civil war in northern Uganda winds down there is a need to think about how to resettle hundreds of child-headed households: families where all of the adults have been killed by the war or HIV/AIDS. In partnership with Opok Farms, Life in Africa is working to create a self-sufficient resettlement village for 150 child-headed households. The village will include a special learn-by-doing model school to help deal with the educations that have been repeatedly interrupted for the last 20 years.

A foundational component of this project is building an emotionally and spiritually supportive community that helps children grow personally, while at the same time learning through working on routine group tasks and projects that benefit the entire community group. To begin this deep community building process, a series of workshops will be held at Opok Farm in 2008 to help participants learn how to listen deeply and speak lovingly to help each other deal with the personal challenges they have faced in their short lives. At least 60 households of orphans will be invited to participate, along with targeted groups of adults.

The intended result of this time spent together will be a cohesive social group of people who intentionally decide to build a residential village and community school at Opok Farm together, on land that is allocated for that purpose. The human community that forms through shared workshop experiences in 2008 will have autonomy over how and when to build what on the Opok Farm land that is allocated for that purpose.

Our first challenge in forging the community of Ugandans who will develop their own joint priorities and visions for the village they will build, is to provide the basic infrastructure that can enable that process to begin. Our proposal for using the $10,000 Razoo grant addresses the following immediate project needs for enabling Ugandans in the project target groups to spend time working together at the site.

* $3,000 will provide water treatment to purify water from an existing source on the farm.
* $3,000 will provide for group sleeping facilities.
* $2,000 will provide for the building of sanitary facilities.
* $2,000 will provide for materials to have fellow Razooer Cory Richardson build a bamboo and canvas dome to act as a multipurpose meeting structure.

All of this work will be photo documented in the group space here at Razoo and there will be fully disclosed, transparent accounting for the expenditure of each penny of the funding.

Planning the Opok Farms project is a global grassroots collaboration that involves a number of active Razooers:

* Linda Nowakowski in Thailand will be bringing a group of Ubon Ratchathani University students with with experience in Buddhist economics and SUfficiency Economy Philosophy to participate in community building workshops at Opok Farm March-May 2008.
* On his visit to Uganda in November 2007, Cory Richardson from Canada hopes to help build a geodesic bamboo dome to serve as a multi-purpose community meeting space at Opok Farms.
* David Bale in the UK is helping to research eco-tourism development possibilities
* John Powers in the USA is providing research and ideas on urban planning and housing construction techniques
* Christina Jordan in Uganda is the Director of Life in Africa - a 400+ member community of families in Kampala and Gulu, the majority of which are directly affected by Northern Uganda's war. (Christina's Ugandan husband owns Opok Farm).

To date, 6 individuals have contributed a total of $9,000 to clear and plant an initial 70 acres of farm land intended for village community use. Harvest proceeds will help to clear an additional 230 acres over the course of the next year.

Additional photos of Opok Farm are online at Flickr

Additional planning discussions about the Opok Farms project are online at

If you are interested in helping with this project - raise your hand - post a message, message Linda. If you are interested in being a financial supporter please go to [link]

Join us: [link]

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1 comment

3 Oct 2007 @ 15:16 by jazzolog : Thanks Cor, And Welcome!
Wonderful to see you at NCN, and I'll get right to those links. I'm down in Ohio, but we try to get North out of the States at least once a regain a bit of sanity. If we can make it to New Brunswick, Scotia, Cape Breton, all the better! I look forward to more from you...and maybe you'd like to start a Log here.  

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