age 31

The first time Dickson was abducted was in 1995, when he was 15yrs old. Ugandan rebels came in the middle of the night, beat his mother, killed one of his brothers, stole their cows and took Dickson and his sister to the jungle where he was tortured and trained to become a soldier.

The living conditions were inhuman, along with a diet of monkey, bats and green maize. The rebels were training him to be a soldier to fight with them in Libya. He knew that if he went to Libya, he could not return. The training was tough – he felt that he was already dead, he no longer felt human. Three months later, just before the rebels were to set off to Libya, Dickson managed to escape. His physical appearance had changed drastically - his family did not recognize him to the extent that Dickson had to convince them it was really him. He never saw his sister again.

In 2007 the SLDF came to their home, slaughtered his two brothers and took Dickson to be recruited as a soldier – in particular because he had already undergone intensive training by the rebels 12 years earlier and would prove valuable to the SLDF. But Dickson did not want to be a soldier, and after 2 weeks he escaped.

Soon afterwards he discovered that he was to be killed – and told that he had been issued a fine of 30,000 KSH to save his life. He then fled to Uganda where he worked on farms, fetched water and looked after cattle to earn a living until he returned when it was safe enough in 2008.

Dickson has been deeply affected by the death of his brothers, and the trauma and torture he endured continue to disturb him. He needs training and counseling on how he can forgive and forget. Although he has had some counseling, he feels that he needs more to help him heal.

He is now the only child left alive and takes care of his mother, and with very little money, he often feels stress from the responsibility of providing for his own children and his brother’s children – in total, 8 children.

Dickson wants to be trained how to forgive others so that he can be free, and believes that attending workshops can help by meeting others and sharing experiences. He would also like to assist others, especially youths.


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