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Catholic Radio station in Uganda, helps heal emotional wounds of former child soldiers

2015-07-31

They were forced to fight. Instead of toys, they were given weapons. This is what tens of thousands of child soldiers experienced in Uganda, when they became members of the Lord's Resistance Army. 

MARTA PETROSILLO
Aid to the Church in Need
"Even those who managed to escape were ashamed, so they refused to go back to their families. Aid to the Church in need has a radio station, where families of former child soldiers are given air time. They send out messages to their children, hoping they will go back home.”

The name of the radio station is W/-A and its run by the Catholic Church.  For many years now, it gives time and space to former child soldiers and their families. 

It's a safe space to recuperate from the wounds of war. From 1986 to 2009, roughly 2 million people were displaced in Uganda, as the Lord's Resistance Army tried to impose its rule over the  government. Oftentimes, entire schools were raided and young boys were turned into soldiers overnight. They were forced to kill under the ruthless and bloodthirsty rebel group. 

MARTA PETROSILLO
Aid to the Church in Need
"After being forced to fight, many of them developed deep psychological problems. More than anything they feared rejection from their families.” 

Pope Francis plans to visit Uganda and the Central African Republic in November. The wounds of war are still fresh in the country. So reconciliation will surely be a main point of focus in his speeches and meetings with locals. 


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