Alice Achan was just 13 when her idyllic life in Northern Uganda changed forever. Conflict and terror suddenly ruled her day to day existence and she soon found herself living in a battlefield. She spent 5 years on the run from the LRA (the Lord’s Resistance Army), lost much loved family members to war and also HIV and spent the bulk of her teenage years out of school.
But this experience didn’t break Alice – in fact, it gave her an incredible clarity of vision. After completing her studies, she became determined to help and nurture the girls who had been victims of sexual violence that was a trademark of the LRA’s 20 year campaign. Out of her desire to help these girls, many who had babies and HIV, her school of restoration – the Pader Girls Academy was born.
The School of Restoration is the story of Alice’s life, and how she emerged from her own excruciatingly painful past to become a force of change for thousands of broken Acholi children. The book is also in part about the chaos and devastation of war yet it is also about hope, forgiveness, redemption, and the human capacity to survive and even thrive in adversity. It is a current, topical insight into the impact of war on girls, sexual violence as a weapon of war, and the wider issue of educating girls as a means of shifting society in Africa.
On this episode of the podcast, I have the great privilege of chatting with the incredible Alice Achan and also Pip Tyndale, a Sydney based writer, who helped bring Alice’s story to life in the recently published book – The School of Restoration.
Alice’s story or survival, hope and forgiveness continues to speak to audiences all over the world with a message of love and tenacity—a message that proves to be universal.
The School of Restoration can be purchased at all good book shops. You can learn more about the incredible Pader Girls Academy here: https://ccfpader.org/
You can listen to this episode via your favourite podcast app, or via the link below.