Acii Paulina doesn’t know exactly how old she is.
All she knows for sure is that when the first Sudanese Civil War broke out in 1955, she feared most for her young children, who were still small enough to be carried in her arms.
Life was not easy before the war, but in the six decades since the fighting started, Paulina has endured more suffering than most people can imagine — the tragic deaths of countless family members and friends to war and sickness, bouts of deep poverty and wasting hunger, and the loss of her home, to name a few.
Three times she has had to run for her life to seek refuge in Uganda, where she now lives in a tiny mud hut in a refugee camp. This time, she says, there’s no going back to her war-torn homeland.
Instead of being surrounded by her small children, now she has her teenage grandson Philip by her side. Philip’s parents died during the second Sudanese Civil War, and Paulina insisted he come with her to Uganda because she feared rebel soldiers would either kill him or force him to join their ranks and kill his own people.
Together, grandmother and grandson fled to start a new life.