When I walk down the streets of Karenga I feel inspired. It is a place where anything and everything is possible. A blanc canvas that is waiting for a painter to pick up the brush and start painting. But I also feel worried about the future of this beautiful place. Some people have tried to pick up the brush, but some are waiting and depending on other parties to help create a sustainable future. It makes me afraid that they have become blind for the enormous potential I see in the people of Karenga.
During my stay at Buffalo Base, I heard stories about suffering, hunger and death. But through those sad stories I could hear the voices of warriors coming through. The voice of survival. The voice of strength. And the strong voices of the Karamojong.
Talking to the different people I got the feeling they want to develop the way Western countries have developed themselves. But I hope that the people of Karenga will be smarter than that. They shouldn’t copy and paste other societies that has nothing to do with the traditions and realities they are facing every day. They should want to create a town that didn’t follow other people’s footprints, but create their own footprints. With their traditions, strength and beauty.
To me Karenga is a place where anything is possible. With the hearts of warriors, I hope that the people of Karenga will see the blanc canvas in front of them. I hope that they will see that they can decide what their painting is supposed to look like. And I truly hope, with all my heart, that when I come back in a few years, they have seen their full potential and have picked up the paintbrush together to create a treasure in the Pearl of Africa.