Lack of identity

There are two things that define a man in my tribe: land and then clan they are born into. Unfortunately, I have grown up with neither, something that worried me greatly.

My assumed father met my mother when they were both still young. By the time my mother got pregnant, it was alleged that she had many boyfriends, and every one of them denied responsibility for her pregnancy.

During her pregnancy, everyone in the village laughed at her and mocked her. That is why after my birth she named me 'Odokonyero', meaning 'someone to be laughed at'.

The man she insisted was my father was later captured and killed by the LRA rebels, and never actually confirmed to his clan that I was his son. Hence, I ended up with no clan and no land.

Assumed to become an assassin

When my mother eventually re-married, everything seemed perfect until my new step-father started to dig a little deeper into my background. When he realised I didn't know what clan I belonged to, he immediately divorced my mother assuming that when I grew up, I would kill him to inherit his land.

When my mother married for the second time, I remained with my grandparents so there wouldn't be any trouble. Unfortunately, my grandfather never liked me. He would remind me every morning that I would never have a share in his inheritance. He never allowed me to have friends at home or to even play in his compound, saying I would give the impression that I belonged to his family.

When my grandfather died, he left strict instructions to his family, warning them to never give me anything he owned, including land. My only saving grace was that my grandmother loved me very much, so she let me stay on the family land.

Lost hope

I had hoped that if I could complete my education, I would be able to get a good job and purchase my own land. Although I worked hard to raise my own school fees, after senior four the cost became too great, so I dropped out. By now my grandmother was ageing and her health was beginning to fail, so a lot of my time was taken up looking after her. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to join Kira Farm, just when I felt there was nothing else to live for.

Like a baby who had just learnt to walk

I don't think anyone enjoyed Kira Farm Development Centre as much as me! I was like a baby who had just learnt to walk and wanted to go everywhere. Kira felt like home, I had finally found a clan and family that loved and accepted me. I was really blessed by the annual 'Strength' programme run at Kira Farm. Through it I learnt that my identity was not in having land or a clan, but in a gracious heavenly father who loved me unconditionally. I learnt what a real father and husband should look like, and left with my head held high, eager to start a new life. 

Opportunities galore

Upon arriving home, I discovered the president had opened up a demonstration farm in our community, I immediately went to the manager and explained about the conservation agriculture training I had received whilst at Kira Farm; he gave me a job on the spot! I've been training hundreds of people 'Farming God's Way' ever since. Within two months I had made enough money to rent my own house and purchase a bicycle to help me move between jobs quickly. I've also managed to get another job at a carpentry workshop which has increased my income and enabled me to hire land for farming; I'm able to save £44 monthly which I will use in the future to buy my own land.

I'm a much happier person, learning to forgive the many people that have wronged me on this journey has given me peace. I share my faith at work and my boss is now open to prayer before we start work each morning. Thank you Amigos, my life will never be the same and you will never be forgotten.