Ending Wars on Uganda’s Children
by Dr. Barbara M. Panther-Gibby
PageTurner Press and Media

"Young children were forced to become soldiers, many times no more than seven or eight years old."

Author Panther-Gibby began her explorative and constructive visits to Uganda in 2004. Joined by family and friends, she felt a need to improve conditions there, especially for children. What they knew in advance of the trek was shocking, an impression more deeply etched as they saw real conditions in the country—the odors, the lack of sanitation and clean water, beggars everywhere, and the prevalence of disease. Panther-Gibby and her friends made small but significant strides, hosted by a minister named Moses Mbuga, who believed the Americans could provide realistic assistance for Uganda’s many orphans.

The country's children had been particularly victimized by self-styled leader Joseph Kony, whose “United Holy Salvation Army” kidnapped thousands of them, often forcing them to murder members of their own families and “giving” young girls to older men, helping create the country-wide spread of HIV/AIDs. Through association with Moses and his Gospel Messengers church, the author organized a Ugandan choir whose world tours have spread the word about the needs of Ugandan children.

Clinical psychologist Panther-Gibby has written a poignant account of the situation in Uganda and the efforts, including her own, to make a difference. The book’s riveting photographs depict both the horrors—children filling cans of dirty water from small streams, children alone, naked and neglected, adults with infectious, untreated illnesses—and the triumphs, such as the building of a village’s first well and first school, the distribution of food and clothing by the bold women in the author’s cohort, and the Matsiko Children’s Choir on one of its American tours. Panther-Gibby’s thought-provoking work combines personal experience with a wide array of Ugandan history that will provide valuable information and inspiration for anyone considering the sorts of compassionate endeavors that she was able and determined to undertake.

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