The School of Restoration
Paperback $32.99 - Allen & Unwin
Biography & Memoir - Published: 17/Mar/2020 - ISBN: 9781760875121
Alice Achan was only twelve years old when the Lord's Resistance Army began to terrorise her peaceful village in northern Uganda. She spent five years on the run from the brutalities of the LRA, and then became the caretaker of her brother's young children after their mother died of HIV/Aids. When her nieces were diagnosed with HIV/Aids Alice knew it was only a matter of time until it killed them, but she looked after them until the end. Their deaths plunged her into depression, which only began to lift after she took a teenage girl under her wing, who'd been kidnapped and raped by the LRA, and now had a baby by her rapists.
Spurred on by her friend's plight, Alice established an organisation called CCF Pader to house and nurture young female victims of the sexual violence that was such a brutal trademark of the LRA's campaign. Out of this was to rise The Pader Girl's Academy - nicknamed 'the School of Restoration'. It has now helped hundreds of young girls, many of whom were left with babies and often HIV as a consequence of their rape and sexual enslavement. These were girls, women and children that no one wanted, yet whose humanity and potential Alice recognised. The School of Restoration teaches them skills to help them find work, educates them in the care and rearing of healthy children,, and above all gives them back their identity and dignity. It is a profound and meaningful response to the outrage of sexual violence used as a weapon of war, and a beacon of light in the broader campaign of educating girls as a means of fighting poverty and raising living standards across Africa.
Written in Alice's powerful yet understated voice, The School of Restoration is a compelling story about hope, forgiveness, redemption, and the human capacity to survive and even thrive against the backdrop of war and chaos. Philippa Tyndale has brought Alice's voice to life. She is a journalist, philanthropist and a key supporter of The Pader Academy who can be found at philippatyndale.com . She has written for the Australian Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald, The Bulletin and in recent years she has become involved in the development field through the micro finance work of Opportunity International. She is the author of Don't Look Back: The David Bassau Story ( Allen & Unwin). Philippa will donate her share of the advance to Alice's charity.
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