Women’s Advocacy Network
The rebel group "Lord's Resistance Army" (LRA) lead a rather bloody civil war between 1987 and 2006 in Northern Uganda, claiming God´s will. Together with their leader Joseph Kony, they travelled from village to village, murdering, looting, raping and abducting more than 60.000 children, abusing them as slaves or child soldiers. The kidnapped children were help captive, had to ravage further villages, witness executions and shoot people themselves. Thousands of the kidnapped girls where forces to “marry” Kony´s rebels and have children with them.
In 2006 the Ugandan military managed to expel the LRA. The fragmented rest of the group continues to fight until today in the neighbouring Central African Republic, in Congo and Southern Sudan. Joseph Kony has not been caught. Reparations or support for the victims from the government has not been offered.
Due to their long time serving the rebels, most of the child soldiers have not had a proper education and thus have difficulties finding work.
Also, returning to their old families is an extremely difficult task. Thousands of former child soldiers, together with their own children born in the jungle, where outcast from their families.
As was Evelyn Amony. She was kidnapped from her village near Gulu when she was 11 years old and had to serve the rebel leader Joseph Kony for over a decade as child soldier and one of his 27 “wives”. After her flight, which she managed in 2005 together with her daughters, Evelyn too had trouble returning. Her aunt took her to visit the graves of all the relatives murdered by the rebels and said: “Kony´s children are still alive but all ours are lying here under the earth.
Together with other former child soldiers they formed the self helping network Women’s Advocacy Network (WAN) in 2008.
Through the Women’s Advocacy Network more than 600 survivors have found help dealing with their traumas and their every day lives.
The network offers support with the following issues:
* Provide access to livelihood projects
* Gain access to essential health, social and educational services
* Provide peer support to members when they face challenges such as depression, ill-health
* Conduct familial tracing of the paternal clan to our children, and to reconcile with the families of the men who forced us into marriage;
* Assist in the search for missing children;
* Reduce stigma and social exclusion
* Seek justice and reparation
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