The Acholi Cultural Institution (Ker Kwaro Acholi) has resorted to sports to address the negative effects of the Lord`s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency in the Acholi sub-region. The cultural leaders say that the nearly three decades of insurgency in the area led to moral decadence, and the distortion of the social, economic, and cultural settings of the community.
The cultural erosion and negative effects of the war manifest through teenage pregnancies, incest, high crime rates, alcoholism, murder, substance abuse, and suicide arising from economic hardships.
As a result, the Acholi Cultural Institution wants to use sporting activities to foster unity and peace among the people, build talents in order to regenerate human capacities and their potential as well as create exposure to the outside world.
Ambrose Olaa, the Prime Minister for Ker Kwaro Acholi, said that the Acholi cultural institution will annually organize a bicycle race and football competition dubbed ‘’Odilo Ker’’ under the theme ‘’Football for Social Change’’.
Olaa told URN that the LRA insurgency disorganized the environment, and the people and distorted the social and cultural setting of the community, which made people lose their sense of belonging.
To ensure the success of the program, the Acholi cultural institution has now entered a partnership with MTN-Uganda to form clubs and sports associations from different families and clans from the 57 sub-chiefdoms.
Olaa added that sports are also a lucrative venture and give its beneficiaries the ability to get whatever they want hence success in life through substantial earnings and investment.
Alfred Okwonga, the Mayor of Gulu City said that Acholi has great potential in sports noting that the new initiative will also help to identify sports talents at the grassroots besides promoting fitness and employability.
Phillip Odoi, an official from MTN-Uganda Northern Regional Office, said that the partnership with Ker Kwaro Acholi to promote sports is worth 178 million Shillings and will be launched in Lamwo district on October 14th this year.
Bernard Loum, the Chairperson for Acholi Province, said that the love and enthusiasm for sports in Acholi is overwhelming noting that having a tournament in Acholi will also help to develop sports.