MY BIRTH JOURNEY
My mother was captured from Adwari in Otuke district in 1997 by the Lord's Resistance Army. She had gone to fetch water with other fellow women in a nearby well. Two of them were captured by the rebels while three of her friends escaped. They were then taken to the Acholi region. During that time, different groups of rebels continued to abduct people within my home village. My grandfather was killed while five others were slaughtered. My mother narrated that she was forced to be the captain’s wife and that is when she conceived and gave birth to me in 1998.
THE ESCAPE AND MY GROWTH
In 2000 my father was killed when war broke out between the rebels and the government soldiers. My mother fled with me with the help of a certain soldier and we were brought back home safely. Life was very difficult without my father coupled with stigma from the neighborhood, which produced a lot of fear in me. My mother later got married to my stepdad and gave birth to more children. During my childhood, my stepdad treated me well, until I became an adult and the mistreatment started. I did not get equal support like my siblings. For example, when I was in need of scholastic materials, clothing, and other basic needs, my stepdad would not give me anything and used vulgar language against me. Although my mother could support me, at times she would team up with my stepdad in abusing me, and this hurt me a lot because she was the only one I could rely on.
MY LIFE TODAY
With the help of my mother and stepbrothers, I finished the Uganda certificate of education and later joined the technical institute for the national certificate in building construction. I also do petty economic activities to raise money for my school fees, like laying breaks and helping at construction sites. I also got lucky and was chosen among children born in captivity to benefit from a project funded by Birmingham University. This project is helping me gain new skills and discover my other talents. I have composed songs out of my story, written poetry, and gained psychosocial support. This made me improve on my anger management and good response mechanism. Today I am able to share my stories with friends without any fear.