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Story Angle Ideas and Suggestions

Greetings to you all;
I was graciously visited by one of workshop participants from a month ago, who has been calling me and wanting me to visit her village. She was recently elected to as the Council woman of her village and has been going around checking on the services provided in here area. She works for a local NGO and was reporting to me what all that is not being done to service the people, especially in the local hospital which has only three beds, and when filled with several pregnant women, they must deliver their babies on the floor. Hence, I am thinking of going to her village and visiting some of the people and especially interviewing the women in her village. Especially since she has invited me to come, and so wants to show me around her town, I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to write about.

Please let me know what you think, as she would be a wonderful source, and has connections to other credible sources to gather information from. Look forward to reading your advice, and suggestions, thanks much!


Fatima Waziri's picture

Absolutely! take advantage of

Absolutely! take advantage of the opportunity and go see how you can assist them in building their community.


giftypearl.abenaab's picture


Hello Doc,
i think you have the opportunity in this village. I am thinki9ng that you could look at health issue in the village.

Women giving birth on the floor has a link of Maternal and infant mortality part of the Millenium Development Goals) which you can explore.

How do the women cope? do these children survive? are they given proper health care? What is the wayford and most importantly what and how do you feel seeing your fellow women in that situation. it will be a great frontline story! and i cannot wait to read it.

I also wish i am going with you to this village....

Gifty Pearl Abenaab
Greight Foundation

dr edonna's picture

Changing Angles

I am sorry, but I am really struggling with my struggle angle. If you all remember Adio, the Warrior Woman. I can't help but think of her every time I sit down to a meal, because her village has recently suffered from drought and people are dying there of starvation. I want to cover that story, and examine its impact on the women and children. I am going there this weekend and taking food for her and the adopted children, and try to find out more information.

My village is only one hour away from her by car and 2 hours by bus, I can't sit back in the comfort of my home knowing others are suffering, so that is going to be my new story angle. Look forward to hearing any feedback.

Emily Miller's picture

Heart Angle

Dear Dr. Edonna, your compassion is completely understandable and commendable - follow your heart and grow the story from where it leads you - from the personal perspective to the the larger impact, details of the drought and the bigger picture of food scarcity and medical/health needs - all are important and valuable. Anticipating your angle, Emily

Dr. Edonna,

You give me daily inspiration. Sometime I just want to snuggle up in my favorite spot with a cup of tea and read you.

In my humble opinion, you have a breaking story that is timely and relevant and could create space for resources to be redirected to her village. I would not hesitate to post an initial report in your journal and also post a need in resource exchange - be sure to cross link the two. Then, your FLJ can fully explore the situation and solutions to preventing starvation. (this really breaks my heart)


Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

dr edonna's picture

The Village of Lost Hope

Thank you Jennifer, I am recovering from my full day spent among those who have been affected by the famine and it was a lot to digest. I was also able to get some pictures, but it will take a moment for me to digest. Thank you, and there is much needed. It will really break your heart when you see the pictures. I'll try to get up the first draft as soon as possible. Let me say that the people most affected are those who have been released from the IDP Camps. I almost lost it a couple of times and didn't think I could make it through the interviews, but I got through knowing it was for a greater purpose. Thanks for the support, I only hope someone will be able to help come up with some answers for what I saw especially among the elders who have been most affected.

dr edonna's picture

Loading Pictures and Linking

Dearest Jennifer,
I am a little lost on how to upload the pictures for my article which are crucial for the making of the story. Please walk me through posting the article with the pictures embedded within. Additionally, I need to know how to link the story and resources as you suggested. I look forward to getting your comments. Thanks for all your inspiration.

Jennifer Ruwart's picture

Great questions

Dr. Edonna,

These are excellent questions.

How to upload photos:
When you are creating a new post, under the text box, you should see the following:
Attach a Photo or Document

Attached photos will appear within your post. The first photo you upload will appear at the top of our story. The others will to the left under your last sentence. Here is a sample post I just created:

All other files will appear at the end of your post as attachments. Be sure to hit both attach and submit, or your files will not appear in your post.

Linking Stories
When you post a need or a solution, the forms have two fields for link title and link name, making cross linking easy. You can find these fields under the "Description" text box. Make sure you copy the url for your journal entry or have it open in another window. For example, the url for this post is

To direct readers to your need, however, you will have to manually add it at the end of your article. At the end of your article, I suggest adding text like this:

To find out how you can support the women and children impacted by this drought, please visit my post on Resource ExChange. (copy link here)

Also, don't forget to copy and paste this to the very end of your article.

<em>This article is part of a writing assignment for <a href="">Voices of Our Future</a>, which is providing rigorous web 2.0 and new media training for 31 emerging women leaders. We are speaking out for social change from some of the most forgotten corners of the world. <a href="">Meet Us.</a></em>

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Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

Hunger is something that naws at you day and night. It keeps you from going to sleep and it wakes you from sleep. For the young and youthful, it can motivate you to look for food from any source. What was once considered inedible becomes edible, like rates, cockroaches, which many in Northern Uganda have been driven to eat due to the famine in the region. What was once a snack like mangoes has become a meal. My family has know of such hunger, but for us those days are long gone, but they are very present and real for my neighbors in the North.
This is the situation now in many rural areas in Northern Uganda, in places like Akore, in the Acowa district, Kapelebyong county, Nyada and Amuiria village in the Teso region. But for the aging and handicap, they remain at the mercy of their younger compassionate neighbors. Look at

Josephine Ara, 75 years old. Although she has firewood, she has no food to cook with, when initially asked her age she said, “I don’t really know my age. My problem is that I am hungry”.

Geofrey Ongodia is in a wheelchair, and the adopted father of 8 orphans, how can he fend for himself.

Aslina Agwong is 75+, she is blind and near death, you have to literally shout in her ear to get here to hear you. “I get food from my neighnbor, but if she fails to get food for the day, then so do I”.

Then there is Elizabeth Aimo 79+ on the left. “I don’t have anything to eat, you can see yourself. No children. When the government brings food, I can’t walk to get it, so I can go hungry unless someone shares with me the little they have gotten. Easter along with the other two women were brought to discuss their plight with me, and their story was translated by the Local Chairmain Mr. Julius Ocen of the district. “The bigger problem is health. There are no drugs and what we eat is poor aquality food. You need to food to put on your stomach to take the drugs, and not havening enough food makes you sick, but there are no clinics nearby”.

However, these elders are strong and resilent despite their conditions. Consider Nora Achoro, 78 on the left, “My son died of AIDS, left children but I was unable to care for them so other took them in. I make money by sewing calabash used for bathing and eating.”
Further inside the village, I found Christne Inyongai, 65+ who was sitting outside while “burning a fire inside here hut to kill the flees. I have jigas in my feet and hands, they keep me from being able to walk.” Jigas are maggots that go under the skin and feed off the blood of the living, like maggots feed off the dead, they are painful, cause paralysis and much suffering, but still Christine continues to be hopeful, that help is on the way.
The last but not leaf the suffering eleders is Valina Aramo 80 + years old, she too is unable to walk and only crawl around her small hut, sleeping on a cloth for a bed. She was born with only one functional hand a the other is disfigured.

The Greater Danger
So, while drought, lack of income generating projects, war and conflict, lack of skill workers can account for the situation, the more pressing issues in the future are the predictions by metrologies that during this rainy season, many of these areas will receive more than their share of rainfall, causing much flooding on the dirt paved roads.

Such conditions could make it impossible for vehicles to reach already deprived areas with food or medical supplies. I have asked myself, that although my family was poor and unable to afford food sometimes, what could make a whole group of people suffer and go hungry for a long period of time.
The Problem
According to Professor Mandani in the Sunday Monitor, the problem stems from prolonged droughts don’t led to starvation, but failed policies do (p.10) In his analysis of the situation, facing the people of Northern Uganda, the most fertile land for growing crops which fed the people “has been given to game parks and wild animals”. However, Julius Ochen takes us closer to the problem in Amuria village, which has historical roots that have led up to the present famine crisis.
Talking to anyone in the Teso, area, about poverty, food shortages, or any problem one will also find that the answer goes back to the issues of cattle, the livihood of their previous existence and over a decade of conflict and war. Over 200,000 cattle were stolen from the area. 112 women were raped and infected with HIV/AIDs by soldiers, and 600 children were kidnapped by the Lord’’s Resistance Army and never seen again.
Hence, the war and conflict with the LRA and the Karamonjong, created 4,000 widows in the Amuria district alone. Therefore families were broken and torn apart and never put back together, so now the elders are left to fend for themselves or die by themselves, unless more good Samaritans are located to help improve their conditions and them an opportunity to die with dignity, and a full belly to sleep in peace.
The Solution
Solving the problems is not difficult but it will take some assistance from the government, local donors and international donors.
First, of all, due to the lack of cattle to help with agricultural cultivation of land, the people are in need of hand tools and tractors to plant crops.
Second, providing irrigation pipes to move water from swamp areas to dry drought prone areas.
Third, they need planting seeds and materials to plant sustainable crops that will thrive in harsh weather conditions.
Forth, they need skills development training to improve the sustainable income generating activities for youth and working age adults.
And finally, they need the assistance of NGO’s and individuals to volunteer time, money and resources to help improve the plight of the elderly, disabled and orphans who are unable to care for themselves.
Unfortunately, the people in this region have lost hope in the governments ability to come to their aid, and when they do, “it is used as a political stunt, they call the people to come to an area with the media already there. The area they call the people to come and get the food, is too far away for those with transportation money to get to, and what they give is only enough to sustain you for a very short time.”
“Finally because of the many incidences of all nature that we have gone through yet with little support from development partners at all levels. We have continuously cried to the top of our voices but none has hear us, we will be hear when we are all dead.” Says Asubu David also from the Soroti region.

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