The Kaabong Peace Ambassadors were started by a group of former warriors who, prior to 2015, worked together to raid cattle, hide in the bush in South Sudan and terrorise community members in and around their town of Kaabong in Karamoja, Uganda.
Following a particularly violent incident in which the group lost a great number of their members, they had a collective realisation that their lives could be much improved through disarmament, reconciliation and alternative livelihood pursuits. The group therefore decided to hand over their weapons and approach DADO, who connected them with Mercy Corps and CECORE for assistance in setting up group savings and reconciling with themselves and the community.
When the warriors first returned to the community, they went from family to family apologising for what they had done. The community received them well and today the group no longer faces stigma
The group’s activities have now expanded to include assisting family conflict resolution, counselling on family savings and advising on business start-ups. One group member described their work as, “When we see a situation that is unstable, we try to bring balance. That is peace.”
The group still finds it difficult at times to find the income to contribute to the collective savings each Sunday but they would like to continue to grow their peacebuilding and livelihood activities within and beyond the community.