Ayac is a small village located in Bungatira sub county – Gulu district. The locals are engaged mainly in subsistence agriculture; growing maize, millet or Simsim for their own consumption and selling the surplus to market traders to earn an income and take their children to school. However, with the ever changing climatic conditions especially the prolonged dry season has left so many crops destroyed and thus plunging more families into abject poverty. Worse still, high unemployment and lack of skills in rural Ayac village is another major challenge that has resulted to extreme poverty among the youth. Many youth had resorted to crime and prostitution furthering the spread of the deadly HIV/AIDS virus in the community.
With failing crops coupled with high unemployment rates in the region and the desire to break the poverty chain, the Ayac villagers organized and established themselves into a local dance troupe to enable themselves create a continuous flow of income. Additionally, the village group engages in pottery which has significantly contributed to their household income.
With help from Dr Dyk, Mary Luard and the Norwegian students, the village group has been supported with shoes, procurement of dancing uniforms, a group of children have been given educational support. Mary Luard has supported the village group to purchase a piece of land, sponsored a group of children with an education and paid salary for one staff at KCIU.
By supporting the Ayac Village to acquire land, the required dancing material especially uniforms and shoes has provided them with a competitive edge to perform at various paid events which has increased their income and thus improved their livelihoods.