"I cannot stop grieving. I know I must focus on my life and the children who are still alive, but I am still very heartbroken." Even after the program, her memory is matted with unbearable events: She was raped by four rebels, one after the other. "When they asked my two sons to open my legs for them, my boys refused. So they killed them both. Then they took my old mother and burned her alive. She cried as she was burning. I could smell her flesh. There was nothing I could do."

Now, however, Maria has a successful business, selling beer and flour. "Things have improved because I can eat at least once a day," she says. "I have two girls, 15 and 17, who I am sending to school; I am paying for the education of my 13-year-old nephew as well. My children must continue their education. I hold on to life for them."


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