Nearly half a million children are fighting in armed conflict around the world today. At 14, Grace Akallo was abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army from St Mary’s Boarding School in Northern Uganda and forced into the devaststing life of a child soldier.  She recalls that killing, hunger, and rape were a part of daily life, and escape was not an option. Her best friend Miriam was abducted with her, and remains in captivity today.  “I know that she is still alive, that’s my hope…. but why does she have to remain? Why does any child have to suffer for that long?” Grace says in her interview for Not My Life.

After enduring seven long months in captivity, Grace managed to escape during an attack on an LRA outpost by Ugandan soldiers.

Today, Grace is a mother and works to educate others and spread awareness about children in armed conflict. She leads the non-profit organization United Africans for Women and Children Rights and co-authored the book, Girl Soldier: A story of Hope for Northern Uganda’s Children.

This kind of evil must be stopped it should never continue because it’s worse than evil that grown ups are actually using children in armed conflict.
— Grace Akallo in Not My Life