Ending Wars on Uganda's Children

Non-Fiction - Autobiography
310 Pages
Reviewed on 07/25/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Ending Wars on Uganda's Children by Dr. Barbara M Gibby is the author's autobiography as she describes her years of humanitarian work in Uganda. Barbara, along with her group, arrived in Uganda to provide clean water to the people in the villages. Their main focus was on the orphans who had lost everything near and dear to them because of the war in the region. However, when Barbara and her group arrived in the country, they noticed the issues were far more significant than anticipated. Clean water was one issue, but these children had no healthcare and access to quality education. Barbara takes readers on their journey through Uganda and their efforts to improve things for the children to grow up.

Dr. Barbara M Gibby shares her adventures in Uganda with an enthusiasm that I could not resist. Things weren't sunshine and roses for her; the work was rewarding but hard. However, she kept a positive outlook and kept the morale high for her group as well as for her readers. Ending Wars on Uganda's Children reminded me of Three Cups of Tea by David Oliver Relin in a way. Barbara was very eloquent about the cultural shock, the differences, and the hard times the children lived through. I sometimes got very emotional, especially while reading Odeth's story. The descriptions were incredible. I felt like I was transported to Uganda, where the author was, and lived through the trials with her. It was as if I was sitting next to Moses as they discussed how they could make life easier for people without access to clean water, solid education, and even a proper sanitation system. The pictures were a nice touch and added more perspective to her tale. This book would be an instant hit among book clubs, as it should be.

Emma Megan

In 2004, six women went on their first trip to Uganda. Barbara, Joy, Bonnie, Dolores, Julie, and Mandy shared the same belief that progress in Uganda could be achieved through the education of its children. This exciting mixture of travelers had goals like bringing shoes to barefoot children, searching for financial means to find clean water for all the schools associated with the Gospel's Messengers, identifying ways to be less dependent on donations from outside sources, and overcoming any cultural, political, financial, safety, and health obstacles coming their way. In Ending Wars on Uganda's Children, Dr. Barbara M Gibby shares valuable information about Uganda's weather, blood-soaked history, rules, customs, internal wars, and major deadly diseases to help readers understand how the country and its culture have been shaped.

Ending Wars on Uganda's Children provides a richly detailed firsthand account of a clinical psychologist's travel experience in Uganda. This unforgettable book combines fascinating and inspirational stories of brave people who focused on improving the staggering needs of Uganda's children. Dr. Barbara M Gibby discusses culture shocks and ongoing concerns in Uganda like malaria, AIDS, malnutrition, skin infections, wounds, intestinal problems, and the lack of the best preventive measures such as sanitation, clean water, or electricity. I was highly impressed by Moses's story and his goal to help orphans in Uganda get an education. This autobiography is essential reading for anyone interested in a well-written book that captures Uganda's living conditions, a mixture of smells and dangers, war history, and relationship with witchcraft. It would appeal to travelers interested in learning more about Uganda.

Asher Syed

In Ending Wars on Uganda's Children, Dr. Barbara M Gibby arrived in Uganda in 2004, expecting the unexpected despite concerns likening it to South Africa. Adjusting to frequent power outages, she carried flashlights. The sounds of conversations and barking dogs overwhelmed her during the first visit. The next day, they visited schools made of mud and manure, catering to five grades. Moses Ssemanda Mbuga, a senior pastor of Gospel Messengers, warmly welcomed them. The American group, comprising four senior ladies, realized the daunting scale of needs. Moses, whose father was imprisoned for teaching about Christ, left a lasting impression. Over 15 years, Dr. Gibby navigated treacherous roads to reach the schools. Her sister, Joy Dull, funded well-drilling projects, and successfully established a choir after an American takeover attempt failed.

In Ending Wars on Uganda's Children, Dr. Barbara M Gibby provides a firsthand, comprehensive account of her decade-long experience in Uganda, delivering a mix of personal narrative and insights from locals. Her candid depiction of both triumphs and tribulations in working with an NGO, particularly in providing clean water to schools, offers an unfiltered view of Uganda's realities. Through her narrative, readers experience daily life, the constant challenges, and the small victories in Uganda's struggle to heal from Joseph Kony's atrocities. The book, enriched with numerous photographs, provides an intimate understanding of Uganda's struggle and resilience, focusing on the hopes of its younger generation in reclaiming a future that starts with access to clean water, better health, and education. With its blend of joy, tragedy, and enlightenment, this book is comfortable to recommend to those interested in Christian grassroots change-making.

Foluso Falaye

In Ending Wars on Uganda's Children, Dr. Barbara M Gibby narrates her efforts to improve Uganda by traveling to the country over 15 years to contribute to a better educational system. Barbara, who has a degree in clinical psychology, was accompanied on some of her trips by five other women: a graduate of ​elementary education, a busy mother, a private school secretary, a business manager, and a high ​school student. However, they had to deal with several serious difficulties, such as electricity shortages, heat, hostility, extortion, illness, language barrier, etc. When getting funds proved problematic, supporting a choir with highly talented members helped secure some financial aid. As they endeavored to improve things in Uganda, Barbara and her generous friends were transformed and more enlightened about a different culture and the tricky concept of privilege.

I found it hard to process the terrible atrocities witnessed by various victims in the book, such as a child watching his father's murder. This book offers an immersing read that combines the author's lyrical, elaborate recounts of her physical experiences, her perception of the people she met, stories from several interesting individuals, and insightful information about some aspects of African history—including Idi Amin's rulership. It was fascinating to see that despite dealing with diseases and violence, many Ugandans held on to their faith in God and remained joyful. Dr. Barbara M Gibby's book is the type that revives your faith in humanity and helps you become more appreciative of your overlooked privileges. I am glad to have read it because my perspective has been completely transformed without leaving Nigeria or traveling to Uganda. Such is the power of reading a vivid, profound, and poignant book like Ending Wars on Uganda's Children.

K.C. Finn

Ending Wars on Uganda's Children is a work of non-fiction in the autobiographical writing, social and cultural issues subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience. Penned by Dr. Barbara M Gibby, the work is a powerful and moving account of the author's fifteen-year journey to Uganda, where she witnessed the devastating impact of war on the country's children and encountered a land struggling with frequent electricity loss and poverty, yet she was determined to make a difference. The book also follows Dr. Gibby's experiences as she visited schools and witnessed the dire conditions faced by young students. Partnering with Pastor Moses Ssemanda Mbuga, she embarked on a mission to bring education, clean water, and hope to the children of Uganda.

Author Barbara M Gibby's dedication and unwavering spirit shine through as she navigates challenging roads and overcomes obstacles to make a lasting impact. She describes the heartwrenching stories of children affected by war and the tireless efforts of her team to provide support and resources. Through her engaging narrative, Dr. Gibby brings attention to the immense needs of Uganda's children and highlights the transformative power of education and compassion. I was especially impressed by the narrative style, which allows us to get a personal insight into the author’s emotional journey but also keeps a balanced and accessible viewpoint of the issues discussed. Overall, Ending Wars on Uganda's Children is an eye-opening and inspiring read, urging readers to take action and make a positive change in the lives of those in need.