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Banjul Report 3

By October 21, 2016December 16th, 2019Africa, Uganda
One of the most encouraging moments of my time in The Gambia was hearing Jacqueline’s story. Jacqueline was a widow in Kenya when a 2007 contested election led to violence. As the violence escalated, she was raped in her home.

A few weeks after her rape, Jacqueline realized that she was pregnant. Her immediate reaction was to seek an abortion. In fact, she tried three separate times to abort the child, but something thwarted her each time. Eventually she decided to bring the child to term but to give the child away. While in labor, Jacqueline instructed the nurses to not even let her see the baby.

After delivery, however, Jacqueline heard the baby – a little girl – crying. And despite Jacqueline’s instructions, a nurse brought the bundled baby to Jacqueline’s bedside. Jacqueline immediately fell in love, and she decided to keep the baby. Jacqueline’s daughter is now a vivacious, beautiful young woman – Jacqueline proudly showed me some pictures!

Jacqueline decided one other thing as well: to stand alongside other victims of violence like herself. So she began and now runs a group called Grace Agenda. Her motto is: “Grace is Strength.” Jacqueline shared with me that it was God who carried her through her ordeal and who now empowers her work.

Jacqueline was a powerful reminder to me that the battle to protect human life and dignity is much more than a conflict of human institutions and efforts. The battle is at heart a spiritual one. I am thankful to teach at a law school and work with a Center for Global Justice where Jesus Christ is honored and followed as Lord. He is the motivator and the power behind our work. Any success we achieve will indeed be through his grace and strength.

Opening Ceremony of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Tabu, who works in Northern Uganda helping people accused of crimes to navigate and not get lost in the justice system