Uganda: Sara

People are very greedy: they could manage if they learnt to share.

— Sara

Sara is a 18-year-old exile in the UK and works to transform her cruel experience of losing her parents and being raped into a positive example for her child. Soon after she arrived in 2003, she was alone and ashamed of her pregnancy. She joined the Mother and Baby Club at St. George Hospital. Today she advocates for the Refugee Council and uses her writing talent to tell her life story. She thus increases public understanding about asylum seekers and teenage mothers and counteracts prejudices against them. Her name is incomplete for security reasons.

She had all a young girl could desire: a lovely family, friends and the opportunity to attend school. All that was shuttered when soldiers attacked her home, brutally murdered her mother and father, tortured and raped her, leaving her for dead. At a tender age of 16 Sara had experienced the bitter side of the world. Her father was suspected to be supplying arms and logistical information to rebels fighting the government of Uganda. Following her parents' murder, her life was also in danger because government officials thought she had useful information concerning the arms trade and their movement. A doctor at a hospital came to her rescue. He encouraged her to eat and drink to become strong and promised to help her escape from her attackers. He was true to his word. An agent left the young girl at a foreign airport in the foreign country. She was pregnant and sick and had to make her way to the Refugee Council in Brixton to ask for help. Sara had lost everything: family, friends, culture and school life. Overnight she had changed from a child to an adult, with a new life to consider. But the girl did not allow herself to be bogged down by the bitterness of what had happened. She decided that her unborn would be her hope and her new family. Sara uses the traumatic experience to encourage others; she is involved in advocacy for refugees and asylum seekers, offers her services to the Refugee Council and to the Save the Children’s Fund. And she has allowed her story to be used to explain why people seek asylum. This Ugandan girl is extremely forgiving and compassionate: Despite her horrific experience in her home country, Uganda, she wrote to Gordon Brown, Chancellor to the Treasury, on how to help Uganda achieve the Millennium Development Goals. This young mother of a daughter is known to the persons in charge of the project.

Refugee Council Save the Children's Fund