"Els de Temmerman and Uganda" Uganda by irisbe
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Aboke Girls. Children Abducted in Northern Uganda
Els De Temmerman
In October 1996, one hundred and thirty nine girls were abducted from St Mary's College, in northern Uganda. In an act of extraordinary courage, Sister Rachele, the Italian deputy headmistress, followed the abductors. Her journey took her to the Lord's Resistance Army, led by Joseph Kony, where she managed to secure the release of the majority of the girls. What happened to the remaining thirty girls and thousands of other children who have disappeared from their homes and schools in northern Uganda since the arrival of the Lord's Resistance Army? In this book journalist Els De Temmerman reconstructs the journey of two Aboke girls who managed to excape and one of the abductors, a fourteen year old boy who was part of Kony's elite troops.
I have read the book in the Dutch version. Els has written more then one but only this one is translated in English, French and Italian.
I could not read the whole book in one time. Not that it was difficult written, on the contrary! Once you start it, you get so absorbed by the story, yet the story is so cruel, you just need to take a break. You can not swallow so much grieve and horror at once.
Often when I had to put it down in disbelieve I asked myself: "Can humans actually do this to eachother?"
Ofcourse the project Els has given up her profession as journalist for, is small compared to the magnitude of this problem of childsoldiers in Uganda. But it gives at least a small ray of hope for those kids who are so lucky to be in the project and can start a brand new life. Kids coming out of the Army of the Lord have commited such terrible crimes (under pressure and life tread) that they are, should they escape, not even accepted anymore by the local people because of the crimes commited directly to these last ones.
With Els's project they get a new identity, education and a new future.
At the time I met her, she told me that one of two of the kids were going to the first year of university. One boy, who had killed many and had stayed in the army over 3 years, planned to study medicine in order to safe lifes this time.
Another one, a girl, is about to learn law and international politics.
Still many are waiting, a water drop on a hot tin roof... but a huge difference for all who are involved!
It still is actual and as worse anno 2003 as it was years ago!
Violence is getting more profound!
Help the kids of Uganda!
I met Els de Temmerman on one of her meetings. She can be contacted to have you and your audience been told what is happening in Uganda, what she is doing with the project and the profit of the book she sells.
She has written more then one, but only the one mentioned above is translated in English.
I am very pleased to announce that on 18th April 2005 it was made public that the book is being noticed by Hollywood (after the big succes of the first African disaster movie Hotel Rwanda) and will be filmed by Horizon Pictures, a movie company in which super director and producer Steven Spielberg is participating in.
In May already a team is going to Uganda to start up the practical settings. Andy Weltman will be with that team. He made already fame with productions as Dead poets society; The witches of Eastwick; Green card and The Perfect Storm.
Although Hollywood is guided by the unexpeted profits of the succesful movie Hotel Rwanda and is not making this movie of the Aboke girls out of compassion but with the idea to make it another succes movie, it is a win win situation for Els and her projects.
She will donate, as she does with the royalties of the book, the money that she earns to the project she is maintaining.
She is now writing on a new book The Army of the Lord, about Joseph Kony, the mass murderer.
A few years ago she he put a price on her head.
I am so very happy that due to the movie the situation of the abduction of children in Uganda will be in the high spot again and let us hope that it will give Else's projects a big financial support!
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