I am Oryema William, born on 25th January 1990 in a small village of Pabo, Gulu district in Nothern Uganda.I am the first born of three to Ouma John and Achayo Jeska.
I joined Pbo primary school in 1998 and sat for primary leaving exams in 2005, and later joined Poba primary school in 2006 amidst the peak of LRA (Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army) war.
One unfortunate evening, when we were gathered at home, we were ambushed by a group of LRAs, who abducted us. After 5 minutes, the leader of the rebel group arrived and ordered that “I don’t want to see old people in front of me!! Just kill the man and woman and
let’s go with the young boys!!” and his soldiers immediately slaughtered my Dad and my Mum on spot and by that moment of time I had nothing to do apart from crying and because I had never seen anybody being killed, I fainted but the rebels carried me until I came back to my normal senses but I could not discover where I was .
After coming back to my normal senses the rebels put me down to move with them to their camp and I had to do that to keep my life. Reaching to their camp I found many young children of my age were in the camp. After two days I started asking them how they reached that camp but others were telling me that “we are born of this camp” and others were telling me that “we have been abducted” and later I continued asking what’s the conditions of the place because I was not fitting in the place well but the young boys and girls told me not to be worried and scared for if the camp leader sees me worried and scared then, the camp leader will kill me because their work is to kill.
After one week the rebels started training us to become their soldiers but they would train us in a way by caining us with hot pangas on our backs and making us carry a full bag of salt which sums to 70kgs and yet we were still very young children. Other children died in the training but I managed to complete it. In the camp many young school girls were brought and raped and others were being killed.
I managed to escape from the rebels after two years, when they took us for looting and killing, when a helicopter blash bombs on us and we managed to escape with five people but one of my friends didn’t reach home together with us, he died because the bombs split his chest. We decided to carry his dead body and brought him to where he directed us to bring him. Reaching the place we didn’t find even a single person and we decided to bury him in that place and every one of us decided to move to our own places.
When we reached our place I didn’t find anybody and I had nowhere to start from except going on the town streets.
After searching for my relatives and I didn’t get even one, I got a friend when I was on the streets. By then I decided to move with that friend to Gulu streets, a district in Northern part of Uganda and that is where Mum Jane got me and she put me at Manafwa High School. Thanks to Active Blessings Uganda, which takes care of my education. At school, I participate in football and I am a member of the school choir. I like making friends especially with people from other parts of the world.
Though LRA has re-armed to invade Uganda again, I still hope one time to visit my home village Pabo and see for myself the relatives that have survived the LRA tragedy.
I hope to take Development Studies after secondary education and become a community development consultant and be part of the development of Northern Uganda.
I have my family Achan Scovia (eleven Years) and Oluka Solomon (Seven years) which are not at school. I am still in pains of my sinning without my will in that army and missing my parents from an early age. It is so painful if I see a street kid suffering.
Thanks with great love, From Oryema William.