This is the true story of Akello Gladys. Her life has been tragic. She was born in in the bush to her young abducted mother, AOL Miriam. AOL Miriam was abducted and served as a wife to LRA soldiers, as so many young girls were forced to do.
The picture (see below) reveals the testament of the mother’s severe beatings. She was beaten severely and cut with a machete, also known as a panga. When Akello was three years old, she was shot in the left hand and had unbearable pain.
AOL Miriam and the baby managed to escape from the LRA in 2004, but due to the challenges that a returnee must face she has been unable to keep Akello Gladys in school past Primary 5. She just could not raise the money needed and the child has been in and out of school multiple times. She has been intermittently attending Saint Maurice Primary School in Gulu, Uganda.
This mother is still traumatised from her life in the bush and her daughter’s lack of schooling is a permanent reminder of the doomed future for her and her family.
This is the story of so many abducted women and they all face challenges when they return from the bush. They are marked as “damaged” goods when they bring home a child born to the LRA.
Even women who were abducted after being married and with children prior to abductions were rarely accepted back into the family as the mother and if she was, her child born in the bush is frequently not cared for.
AOL Miriam (left) & Akello Gladys Akello’s bullet wound AOL Miriam’s machete scars
Please open your heart to this young mother struggling to provide an education for her daughter. They both need a reason to hope for a better life in the future.