After ten years of unthinkable abuse, Beatrice has finally escaped the hands of the Lord’s Resistance Army and Joseph Kony.
Beatrice says she is 23 years old, but she is not entirely sure of her age. Her mother is alive, but her father was poisoned just two years ago.
In December 2003, as the morning’s preparations were about to commence, Beatrice and seven of her siblings were abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army. She was 13 years old.
Two days later she tried to escape, but was caught and returned to the hands of the commanders, who were instructed to beat her to prevent any future attempts.
Then they walked. From Uganda to Sudan and finally to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), they walked.
At that time, Beatrice had been given to a man, sickly and aged, to whom she would bear her first child. Due to the lack of adequate delivery services, however, Beatrice lost two other children at birth.
In 2010, Beatrice and her comrades again took to walking – from DRC to the Central African Republic (CAR) – a journey that lasted nearly seven weeks. They used plastic jerrycans to aid in their crossing of the Nile River and other small waterways. Finally, they settled deep in the bush, where infamous LRA leader Joseph Kony joined them in 2011.
While in CAR, the group faced several attacks and struggled to find sufficient food or sources of clean water.
In March of 2013, after almost two years of struggle, Kony set in motion an order that all pregnant mothers, breastfeeding mothers and widows should be released. Newly widowed, Beatrice was among the group of twelve. After a long journey, bringing her from CAR to DRC and finally back to Uganda, Beatrice and her fellow child mothers were brought to the Child Protection Unit in northern Uganda.
A month later, after being reunited with her family, Beatrice joined the sixth class of students at ChildVoice’s Lukome Center. We are so thankful that ChildVoice is able to help Beatrice return to her community and begin a new life of peace and hope.