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Four years without Sophia

Sophia in Karamoja October 25, 2015

On October 22 she writes:

Before we left I really wanted to say a warm goodbye to everyone in the hospital.
We gave away our medical splash goggles and midwives and surgeons were really happy with them. Our white coats we gave to Christine, who was really eager to have them. We also exchanged email addresses with her. After saying goodbye to everyone in maternity we stopped by the other wards.

I sincerely regret my stay here is over. All the people in the hospital are so sweet. I will really miss them and hope to be back one day. Who knows, as a doctor of tropical medicine?’

The next day Sophia starts her roundtrip. Six days later, Wednesday October 28, 2015, she disappears.

Every 28th day of each month is a difficult day for us. A painful reminder that another month has passed, without Sophia. As every week, every day means one more day, one more week, without Sophia. And we do not know if the passing of the days, weeks and months, will bring us closer to her, or further away from her.

The 28th of October marks four years without Sophia, four years of painful, devastating insecurity, four years of wondering what happened to our beloved girl; is she still alive, where could she be, under which circumstances?

No child is more present than a missing child. Perhaps only parents in a similar situation can truly understand what it is like, not knowing what happened, wondering whether your child is alive and worrying about their fate, each and every day. I know there are many of you in Uganda, suffering from the same ordeal, especially in the north.

From the moment they are born, our children are, and will always remain, our Achilles heel and we shall never give up on them.

It has pained us immensely to see the case so easily dismissed. We have been fighting ever since to get people, and especially authorities, out of that ‘fatal accident’ tunnel. It seems we are starting to reap some of what we have sowed but everything is going too slow, of course, as for us every day still counts. We cannot and will not rule out she might be somewhere. But where? And how?

We can use all the help we can get to solve the mystery of Sophia’s disappearance.

Four years without Sophia is unreal, incomprehensible and unbearable.

It is hope that keeps me together, that makes me come back to Uganda, time after time, always hoping to find Sophia and take her home.

When nothing is certain, everything is possible and miracles do happen.


Marije Slijkerman


SOCIAL MEDIA: #findSophiaK @findSophiaK    Facebook




One comment

  1. It is indeed saddening. Hopefully nothing wrong happened to her. It’s been years but since all stories don’t add up due to irresponsible search teams by then. It would be best to have 50/50 chance of Sofie living. But what happened to their tour guide?

    A tour guide from Kampala? That is something not advisable. Tour guides are provided by the park management because these people are very well aware of their surroundings and place of operations. But no matter what. A tour guide from Kampala unless this person was sent from the place you intended to go.

    Because everyone believes they can be tour guides just because they know few ideas but that doesn’t make them one. A tour guide must first ensure clients safety first. But look Sofia’s incident happened due to irresponsible personal cliamed tour guide…..

    Most people in KAMPALA disguise in certain occupation…….that’s why sometimes evenpublic taxis are driven by people without permits they drive because they know.

    If only the tour guide can be questioned again after all these years I believe he may have a different story.

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