Volume 15, No. 4
Fall 2012
New School A Bridge To Future
For Uganda War Orphans
by Zoe Christopulos
It's exam time for Okijob (front left) and his classmates at Archangel Michael Orthodox School. The stability of school life has helped them to reclaim part of their childhood, and to dream of a brighter future. (Photo credit: Zoe Christopulos/IOCC)
Decades of civil war and destruction by the rebel group "Lord's Resistance Army" (LRA) devastated northern Uganda's infrastructure, rendered millions of people homeless, and left an entire generation of children orphaned and uneducated. Okijob, 19, lost his father to the war and then fled from his home in the north to avoid being abducted into the LRA child army. Once his father was killed, Okijob, along with his mother and four younger siblings were left with no family provider.

Okijob found his fresh start at Archangel Michael Orthodox School just outside the northern Ugandan town of Gulu. With the cooperation of the Orthodox Church in Uganda and a generous grant from the St. Nektarios Fund, IOCC constructed a new secondary school to accommodate 450 students from the area including those living in an adjacent camp for families who were displaced by the violence. The school site was chosen because of a great need in an area where existing secondary schools are overcrowded. Along with classrooms and a science lab, the school also includes a free-standing kitchen and dormitories for boys and girls that can house up to 140 orphans and boarding students.

Okijob pays his tuition by working but doesn't mind if it means earning a diploma. Named head boy of the secondary school because of his caring demeanor, Okijob is grateful for the opportunity to go from a life of hardship to student life and the prospects it can create in helping to provide for his family. "Archangel Michael brought happiness to my life again," he says. The soccer fan now gets excited about sports just like every other teenage boy.

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In This Issue

New School A Bridge To Future For Uganda War Orphans

Helping People Reach Their Potential

Job Training Profits Ethiopia's Disabled

IOCC Books Spark Learning In Tanzania Schools

Breeding Self-Reliance In The West Bank

Knowing Goodness Through God's Love

Leave A Legacy Through IOCC's St. Basil Society

IOCC Sunday: A Day Of Sharing!

Parish Reps Make A Difference!

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