Life in a refugee camp is one that I could not imagine. We see clips on news programs now and again, but until you visit a refugee camp it is just not real. Without any announcement, we approached the first camp, it looked as if there were thousands of little huts all “squished” together in a rather small area. Knowing that most villages are not this big, I knew it was a refugee camp.
I’ll do my best to describe the life in a camp…
Security for the camp: Camps with barbed wire around them are for the protection of the people who live in the camp. To keep out those bands of the LRA who drove them from their villages in first place. Security means that people can leave the camp during daylight to clear small patches of land and grow vegetables to supplement food that they are given by the UN’s World Food Program. They must be back before dark.
Making charcoal and selling it is a popular wasy to provide some form of income for the people. Our drive takes us down roads were bags of charcoal are sitting on the side of the road awaiting to be picked up. A bag of charcoal goes for about 7500 Ugandan shillings or $4. The government has recently banned the production of Charcoal as too much of the Rain Forest was being destroyed. There is good and bad to that…. taking away a means of income or an important part of balance for the eco-system.
In each of the camps, there are few health facilities in the camp and people die each week from malaria, cholera, dysentery or Aids-related illnesses. Medical care is just not there… God healing through prayer is always the best option.
DISTRUST, HOPELESNESS and DISPAIR are evident as you go into the camps. Many groups had come through and made so many promises, but many of the promises have been unfulfilled….. BUT GLORY TO GOD… We bring the TRUTH where they can be made PERFECT and ENTIRE, WANTING NOTHING!!!!!