Who We Are

We are an Oregon-based nonprofit founded by students from Lewis & Clark College with a vision to improve long-term child soldier rehabilitation in Uganda.  Our name, KareMeKuc (pronounced “car-uh-meh-quooch”), means “season of peace” in Lango, the Luo dialect spoken by the Langi people in northern Uganda.

Currently, we run agricultural training programs for youth affected by war near Lira, Uganda in partnership with Children of Peace Uganda (CPU). We have received a grant through Davis Projects for Peace to fund our pilot program this summer. Our team has been preparing to initiate this project over the past three years through research and networking with NGOs in central Africa. The team spent the summer of 2016 in northern Uganda to engage in experiential learning and study the dynamics of post-conflict recovery in the region. Seren took a field-based course in peace and conflict studies based in Gulu, while Nellie and Max worked on the ground in Lira with CPU. During the summer, we made connections in Lira, interviewed stakeholders, worked in collaboration with CPU and other local partners to establish a long-term plan to aid in post-conflict recovery for former child soldiers and the surrounding community, and planned our first steps.

 

Seren Villwock
posts by Seren

 

seren avatar

Seren is a biology major Lewis & Clark College. Outside of class, she has a diverse range of interests, but building community has always been important to her. Currently, she serves a lead resident advisor in the campus residence halls, leads trips with her school’s outdoors program, and works with the campus natural history collections. Much of her volunteer work has surrounded food insecurity and houselessness, including working with a sustainable housing project for chronically homeless people in Austin, Texas, volunteering with an affordable micro-housing project in Portland, and helping with food and hospitality outreach programs. Last summer, she studied peace and conflict in the Lake Victoria Basin region through the School for International Training, which focused on the Rwandan genocide, the LRA conflict in Uganda, post-conflict development, and current NGO dynamics in the region.

Nellie Trenga-Schein
posts by Nellie

NellieNellie is a recent Biology and pre-medical graduate at Lewis & Clark College. In her spare time, she is usually hiking, rafting, kayaking, and exploring the outdoors. Currently, Nellie works as a research intern in the Rosenzweig Lab, a molecular microbiology and immunology laboratory at the VA/OHSU, studying inflammatory disease. She is also a volunteer on the trauma floor at OHSU. Nellie has worked in Zanzibar as a community health educator teaching women about birth control, family planning, HIV/AIDS, malaria, diabetes, and other public health concerns. During that time she also created a curriculum to teach English, math, and HIV/AIDS prevention to a class of 10-13 year olds. While studying at George Washington University, Nellie was an adolescent prevention education program intern with Children’s National Medical Center. She worked as a peer educator providing HIV/AIDS and sexual health education to 18-24 year olds in colleges across DC, Virginia, and Maryland. Nellie hopes to use her privilege and compassion for others to make the world a better place. She aspires to become a doctor and provide medical care and health education to communities in need.

Max Clary
posts by Max

MaxMax helped co-found KareMeKuc, and although he is no longer working with the organization, he continues to collaborate with Children of Peace Uganda. He is a chemistry major at Lewis & Clark College with specific interests in both psychology and chemistry. He enjoys spending his time hacky sacking, backpacking and being out in nature in general. Since high school, he has worked to help his community. He has done a number of service projects such as spending eight weeks in Birmingham, Alabama rebuilding impoverished homes, working at local soup kitchens and homeless shelters in Montana, and raising awareness and collaborating with an organization doing sex trafficking rehabilitation work in Hyderabad, India. He currently serves as the Student Area Coordinator for Amnesty International for the State of Oregon and teaches English to local immigrants and refugees.