Joseph Kony and the pigs of healing
In a country ravaged by violence less than a decade ago, BMS World Mission worker Alex Vickers and Ugandan supported partner worker Acaye Genesis are helping the people in and around Gulu regain their sense of community, their independence and financial stability. How are they doing this? With pigs, of course.
In August 2013, 16 communities in Gulu were given ten piglets each to raise, breed and sell. They had full freedom to manage their new livestock and could call on Acaye for his agricultural expertise.
For some of the communities, one or two people were chosen as managers and caretakers of the pigs. In poorer villages, they knew that the strain of feeding and maintaining ten growing animals would be too much for one or two to handle, especially, after last year’s failed harvest. In places like these, the people banded together, shifting the responsibility to many instead of leaving it on a few.
Alex and Acaye routinely checked on the pigs’ progress and almost everywhere they went, they received stellar reports. The villages were “working together like never before,” says Alex. “People trusted each other more, helped each other on their farms and shared each other’s triumphs and failures.”
In the six years since the Lord’s Resistance Army’s 2008 Christmas Day massacre, people have turned their eyes to the future and worked to create better lives for themselves and their families. Part of this stride forward, is sustainable pig farming. “To see these fledgling communities so noticeably benefiting from pig farming is a blessing beyond expectations,” says Alex.
These villages and communities are young, many of them rebuilt when the safety found in refugee camps was no longer a necessity. In the villages where the community fed their pigs, farmers were able to buy them at a much lower cost. “It is great to earn some money from selling piglets – but money comes and goes,” says Alex. “What lasts longer is the knowledge that the people you live with really are your neighbours and that loving your neighbour as yourself is not only a blessing to them but also a blessing to you. Jesus really did know what he was talking about.”
Pray for the work that Acaya Genesis and Alex and Jackie Vickers are doing in for the people in and around Gulu and support it by becoming a 24:7 Partner.
This article first appeared on the website of BMS World Mission and is used with permission