Moving Beyond Anger in Uganda

Nelson (15) grew up in the midst of fear and violence in DR Congo. When he and his family were targeted - as part of a brutal attack by armed rebels - they fled to safety in neighbouring Uganda. Nelson’s memories of the attack continued to haunt him - and he struggled to process his experiences. Then he found TeamUp - and a refuge in dance.

“My country has been at war for over 20 years. It’s all I’ve ever known. I remember the night the rebels arrived - they started killing people at the hospital. Then they came looking for my dad…

I was very scared. The situation was rough - the rebels threatened that they would force me to have sex with my brothers and sisters. They wanted to come and kills us together with our father. That’s why we ran. We had to escape to safety in Uganda…”

“I became one of the 70 million refugees in the world.”

Nelson (15) from DR Congo

Piecing my Life Together

“The journey to Uganda was difficult and I feared for my safety. Eventually, my family were reunited after many long weeks. We found a safe place in a refugee settlement - a home I share with thousands of other refugees.

We got our own plot of land - thanks to Uganda’s system for refugees - and slowly began to piece our lives back together. Every month, my parents collect their money at the reception centre. With that money we can get food and clothes. We go there a lot to see if there are people we know or people who know something about our family - those we had to leave behind.”

Memories of War

“Even though my family and I are now safe in Uganda, I still struggle. I feel I’m not free in my thoughts because we witnessed war. Sometimes my head is so full of horrible experiences that I can't think properly. I remember rebels wanting to kill children. We saw dead bodies and heard bombs falling. I often have nightmares about what I've been through - I dream that I’m still in the same situation.

My dark feelings sometimes make me angry. When I think back to Congo, I get irritated. I get upset and I start fighting. Even though I don’t want that at all…”

Michael Jessurun

Expressing Emotions

“For some time now I’ve been going to War Child’s TeamUp programme. At TeamUp we do sports and play activities. When I’m playing with the other children, I feel happy - blissful. It has helped me forget about my experiences. TeamUp helps kids like us to play games and learn together. They teach us about different themes, like fear, bullying, anger and friendship. I’ve learned how to live side-by-side with people - and that fighting is not the solution to problems.”

“I’ve learned how to live side-by-side with people - and that fighting is not the solution to problems.”

Nelson (15) from DR Congo
Michael Jessurun

My Turn to Dream

“I love dancing - especially with my older brother. He supports me very much. He gives me a lot of confidence and shows me that I don’t have to be afraid. I want to make my dreams come true - that’s why I go to school.”

“I want to live in a safe space and lead a better life. And I want to be a very good father. I have hope - and I can now look to the future.”