Abducted, beaten and held captive by the LRA
In August 2003, Doreen, her mother Matilda and her sister Concy were abducted at gun-point from their home, about 5km south of Kitgum, by rebel soldiers from the LRA. They were forced to walk for many days carrying heavy loads for the rebels, with very little food or water, until they reached the town of Lira, 130 kms from Kitgum. While they were being herded ‘on-the-run’ from pursuing Uganda Peoples Defence Force, Doreen and her sister and mother became separated from each other.
For 18 months Doreen was held captive and used as a slave by the LRA. The rebels often beat Doreen and other abducted children with pangas (machetes) to maintain total control. In June 2005, too weak to carry on any longer, she collapsed. The rebels were about to kill her when they came under attack by UPDF forces. Doreen crawled under a tree in the confusion of battle and prayed that she would somehow escape with her life. The rebels fled. Doreen was then rescued by Ugandan soldiers and taken to a trauma-counselling centre in Gulu where she was given food, clothing and vital counselling to help her deal with the horrific acts of violence she had experienced.
Unfortunately, Doreen’s sister and mother are still listed as missing.
Doreen’s father, Vincent, still carries deep emotional scars from losing his wife and daughter to the LRA. Doreen’s eyes speak louder than words. She has been brutally treated and needs lots of love and a helping hand to begin again and pick up the pieces of her shattered childhood.
At Cornerstone Vocational Training Centre Doreen and others like her will receive the love and support they so desperately need, together with daily food, clothing and medical care and vocational training.