Pader, Uganda was ravaged by the LRA and other fighting over the past twenty-five years and only recently began to rebuild the long-term objective of resettling all of the residents of IDPs. In January 2008 ALARM presented us with a Youth Advocacy Program (YAP) proposal to build a trade school in Pader to educate older children, with an emphasis on former LRA child soldiers, and in February 2008 WCC committed to funding the project.

The vision is to provide these older kids a trade skill, provide Bible discipleship and trauma healing, and offer microloans to start new businesses. Since we committed to construction, we have worked with local leaders to acquire eleven acres (more anticipated); drilled one water well to help with construction and provide water for ongoing operations; completed construction of bathrooms, a two room guard house/office, and a two room house; and expect to complete the construction of two lecture halls (each is 4,700 square feet with three classrooms) in February 2010. Operations will commence in Spring 2010 with fifty local students, and operations will expand later upon completion of a bunk house to board students who live further away.

In addition to being used for Youth, the facility will also be used for training government and church leaders. As facilities are built out, Watermark will begin sending several “expert” teams to serve the community, such as doctors, construction experts, lawyers, educators, sexual trauma healing experts, and nurses. This may also be the location of future VBS summer camps for orphans and at risk children sponsored by Watermark and ALARM. This will be a beachhead for several future efforts.

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