Poverty alleviation among the youth in northern Uganda : a pastoral study
Asea, Kenneth Wilson
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The statistical artifact and analysis concerning poverty among the young people in Uganda is on a continuous ascendancy. The most affected regions are Northern and Eastern Uganda. The major causes of poverty in Uganda have been the unending political instability and civil strife since 1960s when foreign forces or colonialists intruded the country by use of 'blood and iron' coupled with 'South-North divide' fuelled by poor political leadership. Thus, the twenty year conflict in Northern Uganda between the rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the government of Uganda has led to increased poverty among the young people, together with injustice, marginalization and division along political lines and fines of ethnicity. Corruption is the order of the day. The few groups who occupy political offices have no compromise with tax payers' money, this is no other than misappropriating the fund at the expenses of the poor innocent people who go without proper food, • medical care and shelter as each day unveils. Hence poverty has driven many young people in Northern Uganda into rebellion, prostitution and begging . Therefore, both the government and the church must address the issue of poverty with urgency. Chapter 2 comprises the following principles: 1. God is the source of Christian deliverance and providence; He wants his children to possess the lives of freedom and abundance. 2. God commands the non poor to care for the needy in terms of food, clothing, housing and medical care. 3. God advises the poor through his mediators to be righteous and also work for themselves and avoid laziness 4. God demands respect for humanity especially for poor people and prevalence of justice in the court room and political arena. 5. Jesus Christ is a merciful, loving and compassionate God who meets both spiritual and physical needs of those who come to him and he expects his disciples to emulate his examples by caring for the need of the poor brethren. 6. Jesus warns the wealthy who are so selfish that theirs is the kingdom of spiritual life imprisonment. 7. Rich Christians must love and care for those in need like the early church who shared their possessions with the needy, to affirm their faith. Otherwise, their faith is in vain, minus producing good work. The principles were identified after studying the scriptural portions in Old Testament that is (Exodus 3:9-10, Leviticus 9:9-10, Proverb 10:4-5, Amos 2:6-7) and in the New Testament (Matthew 25:31 -46, Luke 9:10-17, Luke 16:25, Acts 2:42-47, James 14-26) Chapter 3 encompasses a literature study with a focus on the perspectives of sociology, economics, psychology and anthropology. There is a multiplicity of causes of poverty among the young people in Uganda with associated side effects, which necessitates immediate solution. Therefore, the church should get deeply involved in alleviating poverty because the government is not doing enough to uphold the status quo of the youth especially in Northern Uganda. Chapter 4 gives practical-theoretical understanding of poverty alleviation. It exposes the real issues and problems on the ground that surely affects the young people of the Northern Uganda, not to forget to mention the political instability, Marginalization oppression and injustice, which should be addressed as soon as possible. Chapter 5 offers some guiding principles on how the government and church in Uganda at large can get involved in alleviating poverty among the young people, with obvious emphasis on Northern Uganda. Chapter 6 harmonizes some concluding principles and recommendations that could be used to achieve better results on poverty alleviation among the youth in Northern Uganda by the government, church and well-wishers.
- Theology