During this transition year, we want to spotlight a few of our staff members who will be keeping up the work and handing off Invisible Children’s programs to local partners. One of our rockstar team members is Munduga Patrick.
When we say you’re supporting Invisible Children’s best and brightest into the new year, here’s proof:
Patrick has a background in civil engineering, project management, and water and waste engineering, and graduated university with a degree in civil engineering. Patrick also holds a post-graduate certificate in water and waste engineering. He served as the assistant engineering officer for the Arua District Local Government and joined Invisible Children Uganda in 2007 as the head engineer. Today he is the head of the regional office in Kampala, Uganda.
Here’s what he has to say about his work at Invisible Children and how essential it is continue into 2015:
[I remember when] we had heard of the renewed LRA attacks in DR Congo. Mass killings by the LRA over Christmas of 2008 and 2009 were the most resounding coming out of the Congo jungles. Being an LRA-focused organization, we felt a certain burden for the communities in remote Congo and grappled for several months about lending a helping hand. Unlike northern Uganda, the dynamic in a complex Congo terrain without communications infrastructure was not ideal. The decision to move in would require putting ourselves into harms way in order to save lives. We finally mustered the courage in 2010 and established what has now become the most accurate and timely source of current info on the LRA using the Early Warning Radio network and LRA Crisis Tracker. Today security and humanitarian actors rely on this grassroots-manned tool to do their life-saving work. Additionally, the communities are able to stay informed and take necessary actions to avert mass killings by the LRA.
To date, we have ventured even further into the hinterland of Africa bringing live-saving work to the south east of Central African Republic. Our protection and defection programs using the Early Warning Radio network, fliers, radio messaging, and community sensitization have played a critical role in weakening the LRA fighting force alongside the pressure exerted upon them by the African Union supported by the US forces. Three of five ICC-indicted LRA commanders are no longer active and the force is believed to be under 150-man strong.
The LRA is much weaker now than ever. At the same time, it is not over yet! Myles Monroe would say, “The success of a leader is measured by their successor.” We need to ensure that before we exit the stage, we are able to transition the management of the impactful defection and early warning projects to be wholly community operated in order to sustain the gains made to date.
IC has been a true leader in implementing life-saving programs as well as influencing counter-LRA policy among local and international partners. It’s been an incredible 10 years of making the invisible visible. The final year ahead is critical. History will judge us positively if we deliver the community-succession plan effectively.