No-one To Stand By Us

Here’s a shortened version of my report on the reintegration challenges of formerly abducted child mothers:

No-one To Stand by Us

I’ve removed recommendations… Tell me what you think of it – I want your candor.

The project started in affiliation with the Refugee Law Project and Christian Counseling Fellowship (CCF). CCF asked for the work of Pader Girls Academy, in educating vulnerable girls and formerly abducted child-mothers in Pader, northern Uganda to be documented to commemorate the five year anniversary of the school and ten year anniversary of CCF. RLP has been responsible for producing a video documentary. I undertook the written report.

I based myself in Pader, where Pader Girls Academy is situated, for approximately three months. An initial focus group was organized with a group of formerly abducted child-mothers who consented to talk to external researchers about their experiences. Subsequently seven formerly abducted child-mothers agreed to take part in in-depth iterative one-to-one interviews. Supporting actors were identified in the initial interviews, and follow-up interviews included peers at the school, staff at the school, other formerly abducted child-mothers in the community, their families, community leaders, local government officials, NGO actors, and state actors; those actors who had had a part in the reintegration of these girls and young women.

Three primary pieces have come from my research; a report on the school itself, a collection of six formerly abducted child-mothers’ stories, and this report on the challenges facing the formerly abducted child-mothers in their attempts to reintegrate into communities in northern Uganda. The report aims to take a comprehensive look at the key issues currently facing formerly abducted child mothers, many of whom have been returned back to civilian communities for a number of years. This research aims to build on the body of research that has been undertaken around the experiences of formerly abducted child-mothers, in a bid to inform social protection and social development assistance for formerly abducted child-mothers in northern Uganda. Moving beyond immediate reintegration needs to the medium and long term challenges and looking at a range of perspectives including the community and service providers.

The interviews and the report are the author’s own work. CCF provided logistical and translation support. RLP has provided insightful research advice.

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