Elizabeth’s Story of Redemption

After so many tragedies over so many years, Elizabeth felt utterly defeated. Then she heard about Redeem.

Elizabeth* has lived a life of tragedy. Her husband died of cholera in 1983. Then, years later, she and her six children were forced to flee her home because of the war between the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Ugandan government. They lived in a refugee camp for several years. When the war ended and the government closed the camp in 2006, she and her family tried to return home, but were violently forced from her land by men who wanted to sell the land for personal profit.

Elizabeth finally returned to her home and land in 2019, but her position was far from secure. In April 2021, Elizabeth and her son were assaulted by several armed men. Elizabeth was hit on the hand with an ax and her son suffered multiple wounds. The perpetrators also stole the son’s laptop and phone, which belonged to an organization where he was employed. The loss of these items led to the end of the son’s employment.

Tragically—but unsurprisingly—none of the perpetrators faced any real threat of punishment after the assault. Elizabeth and her son tried to get help from local leaders, but without the aid of the police and law enforcement, they were helpless. They reached out to legal aid services for assistance, but without the son’s income, it was impossible to pay the fees required. They were forced to navigate the labyrinthine legal system by themselves.

After so many tragedies over so many years, Elizabeth felt utterly defeated. She made a plan to kill herself by taking poison. Then her son heard about Redeem and contacted our Gulu team. Our team took Elizabeth as a client in July of 2022. “You coming here was heaven sent,” Elizabeth told our team when they took her case. “I am now able to share my challenges with someone who cares to listen.

Redeem reviewed Elizabeth’s legal files, developed a comprehensive legal strategy for her case, and ensured that all parties attended the court hearings on time. Soon after, local police arrested the main perpetrator of the attack. On January 31 of this year, the local magistrate convicted the main perpetrator, along with three other assailants, of crimes against Elizabeth and her son. The perpetrators were sentenced to prison terms ranging from three months to three years and ordered to pay millions of shillings (thousands of dollars) in damages.

Redeem continues to work with Elizabeth to secure the legal documentation of her land ownership and rehabilitate her from years of trauma. But for the first time in a very long time, Elizabeth has hope.

*Client names changed for privacy

Elizabeth celebrates her legal victory with Redeem staff.

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