Meet Evelyn Apoko. At the age of 9, Apoko was abducted by a violent, rebel group named LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) and was forced to work as a mule, carrying heavy supplies and food for miles without food and water. One day during usual warfare, Evelyn attempted to protect a child she was carrying, only to expose her head to a nearby bomb. The grenade exploded, disfiguring her face and mouth, leaving her with an incomplete jaw and set of teeth.
Since her escape and relocation to America, doctors have successfully “reconstructed her jaw, removed scars and balanced her lips. In the days to come, Apoko will soon get a new jaw implant, a bone graft and a set of upper teeth.”
What you may not know about this 22-year-old Ugandan woman is that she recently spoke out against political commentator, Rush Limbaugh, after he accused President Obama of sending 100 U.S. military advisers to the Central African Republic to kill the leaders (i.e. Joseph Kony) and members of LRA, an organization that he sees as being Christian:
Now, up until today, most Americans have never heard of the combat Lord’s Resistance Army. Lord’s Resistance Army are Christians. It means God…Lord’s Resistance Army are Christians. They are fighting the Muslims in Sudan. And Obama has sent troops, United States troops to remove them from the battlefield, which means kill them. That’s what the lingo means, “to help regional forces remove from the battlefield,” meaning capture or kill. [Listen]
After hearing Limbaugh’s accusations, the LRA survivor released a heartfelt and sincere video addressing the radio host’s ignorance to the brutal reality of the Ugandan rebel group:
My heart breaks when I hear your message about the LRA. I experienced first-hand the pain and hatred of humanity in the LRA. I have witnessed the spirit of Joseph Kony and it is not from God. Abducting young people from their home and forcing them to become something that is not meant to be – Working day and night without food or drink, children dying of hunger with no one to tell them it’s going to be okay, brainwashing children and murding innocent people. Is this how Christian treat their people?
On Sunday evening, Evelyn was interviewed on CNN’s Newsroom and shared why she decided to speak up against Limbaugh. Check out the interview clip and her original video message to Rush Limbaugh below…How can you not admire this woman’s courage?
Watch: Evelyn on CNN’s Newsroom
Watch: Dear Mr. Limbaugh: Evelyn’s Appeal
**Today, Evelyn Apoko is a Fellow of The Strongheart Fellowship Program, a residential healing and learning guidance program designed to help bright, resilient young people from extremely challenging circumstances around the globe. Her mission – to bring peace to the lives of children who have suffered like her.