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    Celebrating differences, building community

    DAY 120

    Welcome to Oruchinga

    We’ve traveled back to Southwestern Uganda, but this time we’re in Oruchinga, a small refugee settlement that’s been there for nearly six decades. It’s home to nearly 6,000 people that have fled from their homes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Rwanda. They are finding ways to stay connected to home and find peace among their Ugandan neighbors and fellow refugees.

    So what better than an intercultural festival to do just that. Our team got a few megaphones and set to work spreading the word and inviting everyone to the event. The community came together to share song, dance and traditions that strengthen their ties to home. “We passed through war, but when we dance we forget what happened and sleep well,” says Mariam from Burundi.

    A crowd of nearly 400 gathered to see the performances – the Burundian drummers, the Rwandese marriage ceremony – each is a way to learn from each other and to hold on to something valuable after leaving everything else behind.

    When we practice our culture we are teaching our children so they don’t forget,” Julianna, a young mother from Rwanda, explains.

    All it took was a few hundred sodas and an afternoon to bring together people from many nations – to help them feel like home is not so far away.

    We really enjoy this,” said Scovia, one of the Ugandan performers who lives nearby. “It shows us unity among refugees and us nationals.

    ****This change made possible by Cresa.****

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