Young people in northern Uganda were born into a conflict zone. Since 1986, the Lord’s Resistance Army has abducted and killed tens of thousands of young people and displaced nearly 90% of the population in northern Uganda. Relative peace has finally come to the region and the youth who have endured this conflict are now in charge of rebuilding a hopeful future.
While young people in northern Uganda remain extremely resilient in overcoming adversity, the conflict has caused significant psychosocial and economic hardship. Lack of opportunity for education and employment are widespread, yet the youth are working tirelessly to consolidate energy and resources to press forward. This is rare opportunity to motivate youth to build a society of peace and stability.
The experiential learning model of The Recreation Project is one the most powerful and effective methods for teaching trust, self-belief, and hope. TRP uses a guided ropes course and outdoor adventure excursions as tools for learning. Young people who come to TRP encounter a radical change of scene that removes them from their daily routine and allows them to think new thoughts and use imagination to overcome obstacles at the ropes course and in their lives. They are having fun while internalizing the important life-skills and character-building skills needed to navigate a new landscape that for decades has been defined by war and conflict but through their energy and vision has the potential to thrive.