Role in Story: A child assigned by the MONUC to assist Jane while in the Congo, who develops a lasting and strong bond with her.

Occupation: Child and victim of Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army. She is assigned to help with Jane’s daily tasks while in camp.

Eight year old Ula marches in defiance directly to the MONUC compound in the Central African Republic during the time of Kony,  barking orders at the General announcing that it is she that has a very important job to do if they are going to get anything accomplished. Ula is hell-bent on finding her twin brother who was snatched by the LRA earlier that month. She has witnessed extreme horrors having searched through the mass graves alone in search for her brother, and even had to hide beneath the bodies as the soldiers passed to look for survivors to execute. Ula, exuberant and ever stubborn, is in charge of tending to Jane while on a mission to the Congo to take out the LRA. Jane has an affinity to ULA right away, despite Ula constantly challenging her.  She pushes Jane for answers each time the team returns from a mission with truck loads of rescued and recruited child soldiers, as well as the bodies of Kony’s men. This fuels her passion for justice, and she knows that the only way she can help is to lead her own resistance. Ula will rise as a powerful character throughout the ORION series. Her long and committed friendship with Jane is heartwarming and inspiring. The brave child Ula will become the inspiration and hero so many victims of the LRA demand.

A personal note from Ula:

“I remember the day that I heard American soldiers were coming to help the MONUC and the Congolese people fight Joseph Kony and the LRA. I thought for certain God had heard my prayers. Then I felt he was mocking me when I saw this skinny white woman step out of the jeep. I remember feeling that I would never find my brother. If all that America was willing to spare was some crusty crew of pirates led by a teenage banshee I was determined to show her my ferocity. Despite my best efforts to offend her with severity and rigidity, she seemed to become more endeared towards me. She seemed to prefer that quality, so my tactics worked against me. The more I spoke harshly to this woman, the more she tried to understand my pain and suffering that I expressed behind my words. She would come in closer and whisper something extraordinary to me as if she understood my pain exactly.

Sometimes I watched her prepare for her missions. She had a mysterious power behind her work that  I did not ever see in the men soldiers.  She does everything with the same fierce passion that all women are born with in their souls, and I realized one day that I wanted to be just like her. I wash the bone and blood from her hair when she returned from her missions, imagining the terror she had to hide from her enemy with each piece of loose tissue I remove. I stitch her wounds and launder the red mud and rot from her clothing attempting to remove all the pain she took and absorb it into myself to make me strong, like her. When she goes away from her tent to go to work, I polish her blades and sharpen them, examining them closely to make certain they could slice the thinnest of fibers so that she would be safe. I looked at my reflection in the steel, Although my face shown like black onyx, I could see her reflection looking back at me. I named her Hatari after the mysterious brave lady spy I learned about once. I didn’t know any other warrior women. My Hatari is everything I want to be, and it was my job to keep her safe. I love her with every thread of my being, she is my sister and my strength. That is why I give her such a hard time!”

“A training tip from me?I don’t have training, what I have to say is get educated. Education is power. Education doesn’t always come from expensive universities and elite schools. Education can come from networking with the right people and sources, from doing research and relying on fact. Filter through emotions and hatred to get to the bottom of powerful issues that have meaning to you and then chase them to solve real world problems. One educated person can make a difference. An educated person can educate more people to end violence, hate crimes, human trafficking, hunger, disease and war. Education is not just for the young or the rich, it is available for all because we are all teachers if we teach the truth, and are willing to listen.”

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National Child Traumatic Stress Network- To raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatized children, their families and communities throughout the United States.

PTSD in Children– Articles and treatment options.