Music is a powerful means of communication. It provides a means by which people can share emotions, intentions, and meanings even though their spoken languages may be mutually incomprehensible. In the pictures, the former child soldiers in Gulu are performing a traditional (Larakaraka) to Norwegian students and volunteers.

The traditional dances done by former child soldiers communicate numerous messages of loving one another, the beauty of an Acholi woman, duties of girls and boys, funerals and above all their life after the “bush”(LRA war). Such group gatherings also serve as an opportunity where community members can comfort each other, avoid being idle, learn skills as a group like dancing and most importantly getting friends. For instance, there are some members in the community who up to now haven’t located their relatives after the LRA war and have now found new family & friends in the dance group.

At the fireplace, the Norwegian students and volunteers are being told how the Acholi people spend their evening traditionally. They engage in activities like plucking boo (greens), story telling, sharing wisdom in proverbs, making community announcements, planning when to cultivate the land for crops, when to visit relatives or marry and many others.

Karin is very grateful to volunteers from all parts of the world. Such are people who don’t just travel abroad to take more photographs and chill at the crowded tourist spots because that is something that almost everyone does. What they are doing is something new and we would like to encourage others to follow their footsteps. When they travel to tour, study or volunteer, they use this chance and contribute to sustainable development of a particular community while exploring a new country and culture. This is the best way to make traveling immensely more meaningful, by giving something to the society you visit while also taking from it numerous experiences. They get to see the destination more closely, get more involved with the local community people, and also explore the places not much known by the tourists.

for more info on how to volunteer with karin visit volunteer