TFV Project: With Time, an Egg Will Walk

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Joy, 24 years, from Lukee village in Omoro District recounts her experience with lingering physical wounds from the LRA War and support offered by GWED-G

In 2006, Joy, a young girl from Lukee village, was making her way back to school with her fellow classmates when they were attacked by LRA rebels. The youngsters were ambushed and gunshots flew through the air from all directions. During the panic and commotion, Joy was shot in the upper right thigh and lost consciousness. When she came to, she found herself at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital (GRRH) after being rescued by government soldiers. Sadly, six of Joy’s classmates died during the violent ambush.

Joy remained in the hospital for 2 weeks, and continued with referrals and additional treatments following her discharge. She underwent surgery to extract a bullet fragment that was overlooked and wedged in her femur bone and affecting the proper development of the bone. After 6 months of recovery in the hospital, Joy was finally discharged. Yet, for 2 years following her operations, Joy continued to experience serious pain as the wound failed to properly heal.

In July 2016, Joy heard about the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) Project led by GWED-G that was offering support with physical rehabilitation for war survivors. She was struggling to continue with her studies because the pain she was suffering was overwhelming. Once admitted to the program, GWED-G assisted Joy in seeking follow-up assessments and referrals to different health facilities.

She was re-examined at Lacor Hospital in Gulu, where the medical staff discovered a bullet still lodged in her thigh. In December, she underwent her last surgery to remove the bullet. GWED-G supported Joy with transport and maintenance allowances to help her attend her surgery. GWED-G also accompanied Joy to her 3-month follow-up appointment where the doctor gave her clearance to resume her normal daily activities after her complete and successful recovery.

“My message to war victims who are still not identified [is] I encourage you to be calm because “with time, as egg will walk” and your dreams will come true as mine.”

So overjoyed with her own support and recovery, Joy spotted a posting for a position with GWED-G as a Sub-county Based Facilitator in her area, Odek, with the TFV Project. She did not hesitate to apply and was awarded the position! Joy tells us:

I now earn a modest salary as I serve my fellow victim-survivors! I am able to cater for basic needs like medical care, clothing and cultivation of food crops for consumption and to support my single mother with some domestic household needs… My life has really changed! I was hopeless but now I have regained the lost hope. I was socially isolated but now people look for me and I have become one of those persons well-known in the whole sub-county, and now I have many friends. I am fully recovered and able to perform any other duty assigned to me!

Joy has also joined a VSLA group in her village and is actively saving. She has been able to buy a pair of oxen to help with crop cultivation to supplement her income.

Her future plans are to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education, Public Administration and Social Work. She also hopes to complete a diploma in Guidance Counselling. Joy is very thankful to TFV for having given funds to GWED-G for the work supporting war victims, as well as all the medical staff who helped return her to full health.