Scovia was raped at the age of 11 and grew up hating all men, even her son. 

During the war, Scovia and her family spent three brutal years living in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp, subjected to regular raids by the rebel army. Her family lived in constant fear for their safety and it was difficult to find food or clean water.  Scovia was raped in the camp at the age of 11 and subsequently gave birth to her son, Timothy, now eight years old. The terrible experience destroyed her self-worth and dignity.

Hatred of men

Scovia grew to hate all men after this, including her own son Timothy. She hated her brothers for not protecting her from the attack and even after the war, when she was married to a husband who loved her dearly, she treated him horribly – in her eyes he was no different. Scovia gave birth to another child, a daughter called Flavia, but then separated from her husband because he could no longer endure her harsh treatment. She returned home to live in a mud hut, in extreme poverty, with her ageing mother, younger sister, and two children.

Anger towards all

Scovia made life at home difficult for everyone. She was a horrible mother to her children and continued to hate her brothers. As a result they feared coming home, knowing she would only fight with them. When Scovia’s brothers heard about Kira Farm Development Centre they persuaded her to join the programme so they could have some peace at home!

Grief, forgiveness and peace

‘During the year at Kira my life was restored and my self-worth and dignity regained through the mentoring I received,’ says Scovia. ‘By the end of my training I had learned to forgive and, through my family on Kira, I learned how to co-operate and work together with boys.

Tragically, while Scovia was at Kira, her daughter was killed in a car accident. ‘When I returned home for the burial everyone looked worried, not knowing how I was going to react because of my loss,’ she says. ‘But to their surprise, despite my heartache, I was at peace, and for a long time I talked amicably with my brothers. Even though it was a very painful experience, I managed to get back to Kira to complete my training.’

Making amends

‘After completing my year at Kira I was determined to reach out to everyone I had treated badly,’ Scovia explains. ‘It has not been easy but the training we received in conflict resolution has helped.’ This once-broken young woman has already made great strides in her relationship with her son. ‘He was scared of me at first, but we’re now the best of friends,’ she smiles.

Independent means

Soon after her return Scovia made enough money, thanks to her new hairdressing skills, to move out of her mother’s house and rent a place in town. As a result of the training in conservation farming she received at Kira she was able to reap a bumper harvest, improving her standard of living and making it possible for her son to go to private school.

Today Scovia has a thriving business selling food produce and has made enough money to buy a sewing machine. Using the tailoring skills she acquired at Kira she has found enough work to save £200. When she isn’t working, Scovia spends time in a refugee camp supporting vulnerable girls who have experienced atrocities while fleeing south Sudan. A phenomenal turnaround for a young woman whose life was once full of hatred.

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