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Storytelling in Uganda is an integral part of the country’s rich cultural heritage. The storyteller, usually a seasoned and skilled individual, captivates the audience with expressive gestures, vivid descriptions, and vocal intonations, making the tales come to life.

Storyteller, teacher and children at a storytelling event in Uganda.

CPI’s new Storytelling Program in Northern Uganda, extends support to vulnerable children, including those in refugee settlements, facilitating their healing journey through Storytelling.

Storytelling in Uganda

In Ugandan communities, storytelling serves several essential functions. It is a means of preserving history, passing down moral values, and entertaining both young and old. Storytellers, often referred to as griots or oral historians, hold a respected position within the community. They are entrusted with the responsibility of recounting myths, legends, folktales, and historical events.

Storytelling gatherings are common in villages and at family gatherings. These events provide an opportunity for people to come together and share in the oral traditions.

The storyteller, usually a seasoned and skilled individual, captivates the audience with expressive gestures, vivid descriptions, and vocal intonations, making the tales come to life.

Storytelling for Vulnerable Children

Storytelling in Uganda has a rich and ancient history, deeply rooted in the country’s diverse cultures and traditions. For generations, oral storytelling has been a significant means of preserving history, passing down knowledge, and entertaining communities. “Odo-doo” means storytelling in the Lua language spoken by the children in the refugee settlement where we work.

CPI’s Partner in Uganda

CPI has partnered with HAF-Uganda, a non-profit dedicated to helping vulnerable children. The NGO is run by Ochaka Richard Okot, a Clinical Psychologist. 

Richard Okot has been investing his time and resources in promoting a peaceful future, the right to education, and the mental well-being of children affected by conflicts. Richard Okot is a dedicated advocate for the rights of people affected by conflicts.

Children in the Palabek Settlement in Uganda attending CPI's Storytelling Session
Children and the Storyteller in the Palabek Settlement in Uganda attending CPI’s Storytelling Session

 Ugandan Folktale

“Lalur Okeng Ngwen”


“Wild Animal Called Hyena Missed White Ants”

Lalur, the hyena, is often seen as a greedy and lazy creature, relying heavily on easy meals.

The tale “Wild Animal Called Hyena Missed White Ants” unfolds with Hyena missing out on a feast of white ants due to being lured away by the scent of decaying animal skin placed in two pots on its path to the ant hill.

Instead of heading straight to catch the white ants, Hyena became distracted and started running left and right, following the smell of the decomposing skin. Seizing the opportunity created by Hyena’s confusion, a clever monster named Obibi swiftly gathered white ants from the ant hill that Hyena had prepared.

Children and storyteller interact in Uganda
Children, teacher and storyteller in action!
Children, teachers and storyteller in Uganda.
The children are fully engaged in listening to the storyteller.

 Moral Lessons

The Folktale “Lalur Okeng Ngwen” teaches us the following:

  • The confusion that arises from having two paths often emphasizes the importance of sticking to a single plan until it is successfully accomplished.
  • The moral lesson conveyed is to avoid greediness and refrain from desiring anything without trying to attain it. Instead, the value of hard work and perseverance is emphasized, as it is the path that truly pays off.
  • The key lesson here is to always stay committed to the plan and avoid getting easily distracted, just like the hyena that was led astray by the scent of decomposing animal skin

The Storyteller

Mr. Kitara John Bosco, a respected elder from the community, was present, and alongside him was Laker Brenda, who assisted in identifying the students, or learners as children are referred to in sub-Sahara.

The Children

The students (“learners”) from Apyeta Primary School in Lamwo District, Northern Uganda. Trivia: Lamwo District is one of the districts in the Northern region of Uganda. It is bordered by Amuru district in the North West, the Republic of South Sudan in the North, Gulu district in the south west, Kitgum District in the East and South East and part of Pader District in the South.

Watch the Video of CPI's First Storytelling Session in Uganda

HAF-Uganda's CEO Ochaka Richard Okot

Our Partner in Uganda

HAF-Uganda is a national non-governmental organization
that delivers to Vulnerable  Communities

HAF-Uganda believes that poverty, conflict, social strife and the plight of HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 impact greatly on the social and emotional wellbeing of individuals and thus inhibit their ability to participate in mainstream development.

The world is facing a growing wave of mental distress. By 2030, mental health conditions will be the leading cause of disability worldwide. processes.

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