Looking at life through a new lens with friends at Acholi Quarters

In October, I (Helen) had the joy and privilege of spending an afternoon with some of the members of the Lubanga Ber group in Acholi Quarters, which essentially means catching up with good friends. But it was not just a time for chatting, but also a time for me running a workshop that they had requested I do for them, after they’d heard me talking about doing a similar workshop with another CRED partner previously.

The workshop was titled ‘The Tree of Change’ and basically involves facilitating them drawing two trees. One tree is the ‘Tree of Now’, and the other tree is the ‘Tree of Change’. The Now Tree saw the members discussing amongst themselves what is their greatest problem, what are the causes of their greatest problem, and what are the outcomes of their greatest problem. There was some good discussion in small groups and together, and eventually the consensus was that their greatest problem was lack of knowledge. The causes and effects of this problem, again as identified by the group members, can be seen in the photo below.

Having completed the Tree of Now, we then moved on to the Tree of Change. This was essentially facilitating the group to consider how to make the change from a problem of lack of knowledge, towards a solution of acquiring knowledge. They also then considered what could be achieved as a result of acquiring that knowledge, and what sort of knowledge would be good to acquire.

We ended the workshop by recognising that as a group, one of their next steps would be to review the different ways that they had noted as being routes to acquiring knowledge, and to start putting them into action. I fully acknowledged that it won’t be easy, and that it isn’t a quick fix to their challenges; that it won’t suddenly solve all of their financial insecurity issues, or be a straightforward journey. But the group were very positive in their feedback regarding how it had helped them look at life in a different way, and in a more positive, hopeful and open-minded way. 

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