Godfrey Nyulo, a 10yrs old South Sudanese boy resident of Matu village (Northern Uganda).This is a narrative summary of his traumatic incidence on the first CATT (Children’s Accelerated Trauma Therapy) session which he and his grandparents were happy for us to share with you.
“I was with my parents and three of our younger brother and sisters in a small village called Morsak (South Sudan) before the outbreak of the civil war although there were already rebel activities ongoing. My father was a teacher/businessman and a committed member in the Anglican Church and my mother was a peasant farmer. They used to provide us with all the essential basic needs and their love to us was really remarkable.
On the 12thof December 2016 at around 2 am as we were sleeping, though sleepy, I heard my parents talking with loud voices inside the house which provoked me to wake-up. On waking up, I heard some deep voices outside our door and window demanding our father to open and come out but our mother held him tightly refusing him to come out and we all started shouting for help. This made the rebels to break through our window and they started pointing gun barrels at us threatening to shoot us all. This made our father open the door and we were all forced out and then they started torturing our father in front of us until he became extremely very weak with fresh bleedings through his body openings, tighten him up and escorted him under gunpoint to our retail shop and broke into the shop and collected the items they wanted including money and they started heading to the bush and told us we shall not see our father again!!! This made us start crying continuously and one of them wanted to shoot us all but the rest said NO. So we ran into the bush and they went with our father while torturing him – we could only hear his cries.
Then the following days, I started having a recurrent headache, constant nightmares of the attack, refusal to stay at home, running away from visitors, loss of appetite and difficulties in sleeping at night and three weeks later, an intense civil war broke in and we were forced to leave for Logo IDP and on our journey to the IDP, 2 tall armed men appeared in the middle of the road and they started forcing our mother into sex and we again started crying for help while running and this made them leave her and we continued with our Journey to Logo IDP where we were registered and again it did not take 3weeks, the IDP was attacked by heavily armed forces – forcing us to cross the border on foot to Uganda where we were forced to settle in Matu village together with our grandparents. Life in Matu (Uganda) was safe for me but access to quality education was very difficult and a month later, our mother abandoned us and left for their home in Eastern Equatoria state (another far state). Our grandparents hated us and we can’t go a day minus physical torture – eating daily food and getting soap is like a miracle happening.”
After 4 sessions of CATT Therapy and Psycho-education with Rev. Gale Scopas, little Nylo has to say this!
“Today I am VERY happy to announce that the entire traumatic incidence about our family that has been congesting my head is NO more! – My mind is now free from any past stress. I am freely interacting with friends and my performance at school has greatly improved. A HUGE thank you to the people supporting this great work – I find this therapy very enjoyable as it involves some play”
Nyulo told us his grandparents now treat him so nicely and he eats food daily. He asked if I could buy for him some exercise books, pens and pencils, which of course I happily did – so we left him very happy. But still, we’ll be visiting him after the lockdown to check on how he is doing.