BACK IN HISTORY IN DURHAM, NC, USA, JUNE 2005:
“As the United Nations sets up an office this month in Northern Uganda to monitor human rights abuses, a Duke University scholar says only the United States can provide the needed political clout and “spiritual-sensitive” diplomacy to end the region’s conflict.
The 18-year conflict between Ugandan government soldiers and the rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), has produced “the world’s largest neglected humanitarian emergency”, according to a U.N. statement from Oct. 21, 2004. The U.N. estimates 1.6 million Ugandans have been displaced within the country because of the conflict, and tens of thousands of children have been abducted by the LRA. Last year, the International Criminal Court opened an investigation into the situation.
“Sending a U.S. Presidential Envoy who is sensitive to religion or spirituality is the only way to bring about the dialogue that is needed to end this conflict”, says Piwang-Jalobo, a PhD candidate in religion at Duke University and the founder and director of the Center of Conflict Management and Peace at Gulu University in his native Uganda.
“What people in the West don’t understand is that this conflict grows out of political upheavals and traditional African religion”, says Piwang-Jalobo, who is also an associate at the Rotary Center for International Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “If those underlying factors aren’t addressed through dialogue, then the suffering of the children of Northern Uganda won’t end no matter how much the [government] military attacks the LRA.”
That was nearly 20 years ago when I (GPJ) was a PhD candidate in the Graduate Program in Religion of Duke University, 2004-2006.
My dissertation research focus was on “Martyrdom and Biography of Archbishop Janani Luwum, 20th Century African Martyr of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Congo (Boga-Zaire) from Acholi, Northern Uganda: Contributions of African/Central Luo primal religions”. I sought to holistically address the impacts of the LRA civil war (1986-2006) in Northern Uganda on (STEM) education in particular; on health and development–through the Martyrdom and Biography of Archbishop Janani Luwum for faith-based peacebuilding, healing, justice and (North-North as well as North-South) national reconciliation.
A summary of my dissertation research above was my 46th Anniversary Archbishop Janani Luwum Memorial Public Lecture in Kitgum District Hall on 15th February 2023 titled:
“Martyrdom and Biography of Archbishop Janani Luwum, 20th Century African Anglican Martyr of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Congo (Boga-Zaire)–from Acholi, Northern Uganda: Contributions of Chosen Evangelical Revival (CER) and African/Central Luo primal religions”.
While at Duke, too, I (GPJ) spearheaded the 28th and 29th Anniversary commemorations in February 2005 and 2006, respectively, of the martyrdom of “Archbishop Janani Luwum: The Forgotten Martyr” in the Episcopal Church of the Holy Family in Chapel Hill, NC, with enthusiastic support of the Rector and Parishioners.
That’s how I was introduced to Hon James A. Baker III, former US Secretary of State–an Episcopalian (Anglican)–to whom I wrote appealing to him to be a Third Party Mediator US Presidential Peace Envoy for Northern Uganda. He responded appreciating my appeal saying the suffering of the children of Northern Uganda was “gut-wrenching”. But at his age then, he said couldn’t undertake Peace Mediation abroad.
Hon James A Baker III, however, introduced me to high-level staff in the US State Department with whom I communicated concerning the plight of Northern Uganda children. The Rector and Parishioners of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Family in Chapel Hill, NC, also introduced me to the Bishop and Dean of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington DC, USA. That’s how I spearheaded the 30th Anniversary commemoration of Archbishop-Martyr Janani Luwum on 18th February 2007.
The 30th Anniversary commemoration of Archbishop-Martyr Janani Luwum in February 2007 is what inspired my “Museveni-Olara Otunnu Reconciliation Initiative 2007”. I had the support of the Canon for Global Reconciliation at the Washington National Cathedral.
I was interviewed for the above Duke TODAY article of June 1, 2005, after I spoke at the screening of “The Invisible Children” film in Duke University Pratt School of Engineering. I was invited by the Student Members of “Engineers Without Borders” Duke Chapter. They told me they had been to Uganda– Mukono (Southern Uganda), for a summer water development project. But nobody in Uganda had told them about the suffering of children in Northern Uganda depicted in “The Invisible Children” film they had just watched.
I invited the Duke Student Members of “Engineers Without Borders ” Duke Chapter to visit Northern Uganda for their next summer project. I said they could mentor Northern Uganda High School students in STEM and use my High School alma mater, Lango College, Lira, with its Kennedy Library as a venue of the STEM mentoring.
“WOW!”, the Duke students replied, “You mean there is a High School Kennedy Library in Northern Uganda?” In that case, then we better team up with fellow Student members of “Engineers Without Borders” Harvard University and MIT Chapters”–from President John F Kennedy’s home State of Massachusetts!
I said, “Cool!”.
That’s when I conceived and originated the dream of what has become our LC@60 1961-2021, DIAMOND JUBILEE Project: “President John F Kennedy Library, Science, Technology and Engineering Centre & Ambassador Caroline Kennedy House Annex in Lango College Lira!”
Lo and Behold! This year, 2024, is Duke @100, 1924-2024!!! And, Duke University has launched an all-year-long Centennial Celebration with the high mark in June 2024!
It’s thus timely for an LCOSA delegation:
Led by LCOSA Patron, Super Genius Alumnus Eng Dr Charles Wana-Etyem,
To join Lango College Goodwill Ambassador in the USA, H.E Robie Kakonge, UG Ambassador in Washington DC and TOGETHER,
Visit Duke University, Durham, NC, USA, this year of Duke @100, 1924-2024, to mobilize resources for LC@60, 1961-2021, President John F Kennedy Library, Science, Technology and Engineering Centre & Ambassador Caroline Kennedy House Annex Project–which was conceived in Duke University between 2004-2006 by distinguished Ugandan Duke Alumnus, George Piwang-Jalobo.
And to invite current Student Members of “Engineers Without Borders” Duke Chapter–together with Duke Pratt School of Engineering–to team up with fellow Student Members of “Engineers Without Borders” Harvard University and MIT Chapters to visit Uganda for STEM mentoring of Northern Uganda High School students @VENUE of Lango College, Lira City, with its President John F Kennedy Library, Science, Technology and Engineering Centre & Ambassador Caroline Kennedy House Annex!
Surely, Lango College Shall Rise and Shine Again!
@ George Piwang-Jalobo
Lango College Lira, 1971-6; Head Librarian The JF Kennedy Library, 1975-6; Odora House, 1975-6; Ogwangguji House, 1971-4.
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