Gilberto is one of six children raised by their widowed mother. She has worked as a peasant farmer to keep her family alive since her husband died in 2004. After finishing primary school in 2008, Gilberto was not able to continue in secondary school because his mother could not afford the fees. In 2010 he was given support by a non-governmental agency called War Child, which allowed for his first two years at AFSS. When those funds ceased, Monsignor Matthew recommended him for a Good Shepherd Scholarship for his remaining time at AFSS.
Sarah Grace Acen is a Level 6 student at Archbishop Flynn Secondary School. Her childhood mirrored that of many children in Northern Uganda – family separated by poverty, children scattered and cared for by guardians, often also poor. Sarah’s were peasant farmers. Despite her circumstances, she pursued her studies, and as a young Catholic girl, was fortunate to attend Sacred Heart Secondary School in Gulu, where she first learned of AFSS.
Tragedy is common among children in war torn Northern Uganda. Twenty plus years of civil war have left thousands of youth maimed, undernourished, poverty stricken, and often orphaned. Each one of these children has a unique story. As survivors, their stories weave the fabric that will rebuild their homeland. They are the future of this vast impoverished area of Uganda.