Layla, aged 9

Drawing of boy

This is the true story of Layla (names have been changed) who is being supported by Bishop Asili Counselling Centre in Lira, northern Uganda.

Layla does not know exactly where she was born, but when she was very small she lived in a rebel camp in the forest. Her mother Alice was abducted from her village by the Lords Resistance Army and married to one of the adult soldiers. When Layla was 5, Alice was able to run away because the rebels left Uganda, but Alice was rejected by her family, and so had nowhere to go. She could not look after Layla and left her under a tree, where she was discovered and brought to live with a foster family near Lira. When Layla was found she was very frightened and wouldn’t speak. Her mother had completely disappeared and she had been alone for some time. Layla was brought to the Bishop Asili Counselling Centre near Lira. The Centre helps women and children who have been the victims of the LRA. Sister Florence is the Director and she treated Layla using the CATT approach, enabling her to speak again, go to school and join in a range of activities. She is doing extremely well with her studies and especially enjoys singing and dancing.