Conflict is a normal part of life. Violence is not. This story is of 15-year-old Benedict*. Benedict was captured by a local militia group and forced to become a child soldier. But he knew this was wrong. One day, Benedict found the courage to escape. Now he is back home, earning a living and helping to put his younger sister through school.
Daniel Tamene, our Programme Finance Manager, recently travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo to visit our partner Centre Resolution Conflits (CRC). He accompanied CRC into the bush to see first-hand the negotiation process they manage every time they rescue and resettle child soldiers. Here is Daniel’s exclusive report from the field.
“I was not sure of what to do with my life with all the stigma, abuse and lack of education. But with the training and help I got from CNSJ, I can now say that I have gained hope for the future.” Oketta smiles with relief, a 15-year-old rescued from the horrors of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda.
Carolyn Hayman, Peace Direct’s Chief Executive, reports from her visit last week to DR Congo. She met with Peace Direct partners providing free and fair access to justice for local communities, and offering ex-combatants a new life away from violence.