An estimated 35,000 Ugandan children were abducted the Lord’s Resistance Army and trained as soldiers to kill on behalf of the army. Some children, ranging from ages 2-16, were held captive for long periods of time while others killed dozens of people- including their own families. As a result of the children being abducted and subjected to torture by adults, it is difficult for them to trust anyone, which could potentially hinder them from accepting help
Nascent Solutions designed a baseline survey to gain deeper insights on the actual situation of the former child soldiers in Northern Uganda, existing support and services available to the children as well as their unmet needs.
Strategy and Methodology
Nascent carry out a pilot study consisting of interviews and focus group meetings with 22 participants including 4 community leaders, 6 parents and 12 former child soldiers in two sub districts in the Teso region of Northern Uganda.
Sumaary of the Findings
Returning girls and boys captured and forced into military action by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) face enormous challenges primarily the psychological problems emanating from the horrible acts of killing they were forces to commit. The 22 women and boys we interviewed find it extremely difficult to talk about their experiences. Eight of the participants have contemplated suicide.
The major challenges that most of them face include the stigma, inadequate support from the family and the community, difficulties of reintegrating into their nromal community life and the fear of rejection. They expressed a lack of resoruces and the inability to afford basic needs such as shelter, safety, food, and health. Those who have children expressed the double pain of not being able to take care of themselves and their children, their inability to provide the children with the necessary health care and the lack of resources to send them to school. Some of the participants indicated that they do not have access to land to cultivate food. Such extreme poverty makes women increasingly vulnerable to sexual absue and other forms of gender based violence.
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