Betty Bigombe with LRA negotiator Brig Sam Kolo (right)
When Betty Bigombe was growing up in northern Uganda in the late 1950s, she walked four miles a day to go to school. She knew getting an education was the only way she could change her life and make a contribution to her community.
Thirty years later her “contribution” would be to carry the fate of her region on her shoulders as she attempted to negotiate piece with Joseph Kony, the notorious leader of the Lord's Resistance Army.
Bigombe was the eighth of 11 children and grew up in a society where polygamy is still practised today.
“Without education, I probably would be having 20 children in some rural area, carrying out the daily chores of going to the field to dig, harvest, one baby on your back and another one is crawling – one of the many wives,” she says.
Her family received financial and moral support from the church as she continued to study throughout her teens, and ult..