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Communicating Hope and Resilience Across the Lifespan


Edited By Gary A. Beck and Thomas Socha

From serious illness to natural disasters, humans turn to communication as a major source of strength to help us bounce back and to keep growing and thriving.
Communicating Hope and Resilience Across the Lifespan addresses the various ways in which communication plays an important role in fostering hope and resilience. Adopting a lifespan approach and offering a new framework to expand our understanding of the concepts of «hope» and «resilience» from a communication perspective, contributors highlight the variety of «stressors» that people may encounter in their lives. They examine connections between the cognitive dimensions of hope such as self-worth, self-efficacy, and creative problem solving. They look at the variety of messages that can facilitate or inhibit experiencing hope in relationships, groups, and organizations. Other contributors look at how communication that can build strengths, enhance preparation, and model successful adaptation to change has the potential to lessen the negative impact of stress, demonstrating resilience.
As an important counterpoint to recent work focusing on what goes wrong in interpersonal relationships, communication that has the potential to uplift and facilitate responses to stressful circumstances is emphasized throughout this volume. By offering a detailed examination of how to communicate hope and resilience, this book presents practical lessons for individuals, marriages, families, relationship experts, as well as a variety of other practitioners.
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Chapter Nine. Fear of the Unknown, Hope for the Unseen: Resilience of Child Soldiers in Uganda, East Africa


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Fear of the Unknown, Hope for the Unseen: Resilience of Child Soldiers in Uganda, East Africa

Erik W. Green Concordia University Texas

On July 4, 2007 I conducted an online interview with Fr. Simon Wamelile—a Catholic priest in Tororo, Uganda—about the Lord’s Resistance Army and potential steps toward conflict resolution. With urgency, he expressed, “Lord’s Resistance Army are real and is a movement of monsters stationed in the northern Uganda and partly Eastern where I come from. Sometime back they came to Moroto and Soroti which are not very far from Mbale. They abduct children, women, young men and property. In 1999, they even abducted some fifty minor seminarians who up to date, some are not known whether alive or dead. A few managed to escape and others who were caught were killed. The children abducted are Ugandans mainly.” Stories of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) are still told widely across majority of regions of Uganda, and the effect of this rebel group’s violence is far reaching. In our interview, Fr. Wamelile argued that “[t]he worst form of conflict as experienced in part of Uganda is a result of lack of maturity, democracy, and dialogue which breaks down due to mistrust.” While the issues of the conflict were cast as national and human rights problems, potential for overcoming barriers—a move toward positive social change (Cheney, 2005)—appeared to lie in addressing interpersonal communication dynamics. As...

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