Saturday, February 11, 2012

“I Miss Their Love More than Anything”: A War Orphan and her Family

Susan, Age 17

When I was only seven, both of my parents were killed by the LRA. My father was a teacher back then, and someone told the militia that my family would have money. They came to our home in the middle of the night and demanded all the money we had. At the time, there was nothing there for them to take, so they killed my father. They decided to abduct my mother and gave her a heavy load to carry. She wasn’t strong enough, so they cut her in two pieces and left her to die.

At first, I was given to my maternal uncle to be cared for, but after he became sick and died, I was given to the wife of my paternal uncle. Life was so hard with my “stepmother.” She had many of her own children to care for and could not support my siblings and me.

At 16, I became pregnant. The father promised to care for me and my baby, but then vanished. Around the same time, my stepmother sent my siblings and me away from her home.

Now I am on my own to care for my one year old child and my three siblings. The second born in my family used to help me with the chores like gardening, but he recently died. Life is so hard. My younger siblings are still in primary school, but are often sent home because we cannot find the money to pay the PTA [parental contribution] fees.

My main support comes from the Peace Club where I have received psychosocial counseling and sometimes am given a small sum of money to help me with expenses.

The worst experience of my life has been missing the love of my parents. There has been so much discrimination against me since they died. I miss their love more than anything.

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