A love story (of the non-standard sort)
Jennifer’s story started out like all the others I’ve heard.
Abducted at a young age by the LRA. Trained to fight in Sudan. Given as a wife at 14. Rejected by her own family upon her return.
After 30+ interviews these facts continue to shock.
But Jennifer’s story had a unique twist in it.
Whilst at the World Vision reception centre in Gulu, she met a man that she knew from her own LRA faction.
They now have four children together and are happily married.
Trust me, this is unusual.
The other 32 women I’ve spoken to are either single parents – their husbands either still with the LRA or having left their wives because of their past as rebels.
Jennifer says that as a former rebel he understands what she’s been through. Furthermore, he’s accepting of her first child who was fathered by her bush husband.
What’s also unusual is that he helps with the household chores and the kids.
This isn’t the norm in a society where the man rules the roost.
She seems surprised when I tell her she’s fortunate compared to the other women I’ve spoken to.
Between them they just about make ends meet.
She’s a tailor. He’s a boda driver by day, and a security guard at night.
I ask her to name any challenges she’s overcome, or successes, since she’s returned from the bush.
She smiles coyly.
I’ve been at peace since I’ve met my husband, she says.