Group of students from various schools gathered at Kitgum Comprehensive College for the ISPS preliminary stage preparation.

Northern Uganda Writers` Forum – NUWFO – Inter School Poetry Slam-ISPS

Ocola Dan hails from Bobi Larom village, Lamwo District, Northern Uganda in Acoli Sub-Region. He was born during the intense time of the Northern insurgency, which brought about civil unrest. Dan later went on to cofound and become a committed member of Northern Uganda Writers’ Forum (NUWFO), a vision that was driven by passion for poetry and being a young man who was held down from realizing and embracing his talents and gifts.

Dan was propelled with fellow young poets, all whom were at school to form a platform that brings young people together to explore their gifts and talents in creative. His passion was to see that many young people realize and embrace their gifts and talents in creative art as an alternative in addressing socioeconomic challenges that has led to high drop out among his age mates in the region. Many Northern Uganda youth drop out of school because they cannot support themselves and have limited support in raising scholastic needs. As a result, they use creative arts, such as poetry, art and craft, filming, fashion and design as a means to help the young people obtain their scholastic needs and sustain themselves in school. He grew up in Internally Displaced Persons Camps as a result of the war and this psychologically tortured him, which is something he feels is worth sharing with the world through creative poetry. Through his poetry, he has helped himself and other young people build peace, reconcile, and restore themselves from the wounds of the war. Ocola is currently a professional teacher and instructor of English language at Kitgum Comprehensive College. He is also pursuing his masters in English from Gulu University. He volunteers with NUWFO as the Public Relation Officer-PRO and he also doubles up as the project lead for Inter-School Poetry Slam (ISPS) project.