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Hope House - Uganda

Hope House will be a safe haven a Residential Rehabilitation Refuge for female 'child soldiers' from Uganda and DR Congo.

Estimates suggest that 40% of the African army are child soldiers. Moreover, not only has Africa experienced the fastest growth in the use of child soldiers, but the average age of the children enlisted in some African countries is declining as well.

A January 2013 World Bank briefing on ‘Children in Emergency and Crisis Situations’, says:

“The use of girls [by armed forces] has been confirmed in Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and West Africa.”

It is estimated that many of the child soldiers are girls and they are often used as 'wives' (i.e. sex slaves) of the male combatants. DRC has been described as the ‘rape capital of the world’.

About 40% of the hundreds of thousands of child soldiers scattered across the world’s war torn areas today are thought to be girls, but the numbers of girls enrolling in ‘child soldier rehabilitation programs’ is less than 5%.
Women face a compound burden, research has shown that they are more likely to suffer depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, compared with boy soldiers.

Worse still when these traumatized young women return to their communities, having had unwanted pregnancies during their times with rebel groups, they face the double stigma of having participated in violence sometimes their own village or family and being seen as ‘impure,’ and not suitable for marriage.

Statistics show that:

70% had witnessed beatings or torture.

63% had witnessed violent death.
77% saw stabbings, chopping, and shooting close-up.

62% had been beaten by armed forces.
39% had been regularly forced to take drugs such as marijuana and cocaine.

45% of girls and 5 percent of boys had been raped by their captors.

27% had killed or injured others during the war.

Help is urgently needed…

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