H.’s Story

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(Not an actual photo of H.)

When he arrived at the clinic, H. believed dying might be better than living; now he is a leader in his school.

“H.” was fifteen when Lords Resistance Army attacked his village in Uganda and abducted him. He survived torture, brutal combat training and witnessed the killing and hanging of several other child soldiers. H. was forced to kill two of them himself. H. was held captive for one year before he escaped and was reunited with his family at an internally displaced persons camp.

Though initially happy to be home, he suffered from flashbacks, nightmares, and a constant fear that the rebels would return. He could not concentrate in school, which caused him anxiety about his future. H. felt worthless, and thought that dying might be better than living.

He arrived at the Soroti clinic in December 2012 and was diagnosed with PTSD and depression. PCAF staff treated H with narrative exposure therapy, relaxation exercises, psychoeducation and medication. The social worker visited his family and worked with his school. Since initial treatment at the clinic, H. has begun to perform well at school, where he now holds multiple leadership positions.