You also find that some former female abductees like me have health problems

You also find that some former female abductees like

This preview shows page 7 - 9 out of 11 pages.

You also find that some former female abductees like me have health problems. Some of us have scars from bullets during the war and it needs operation. … We who came back from the bush need medical intervention (Interviewee, 10). Honestly, life is hard. I cannot do anything. My hands were beaten and my bones broke when I was in the bush because I was too young to carry heavy loads. Empowering hands took me to the Gulu Independent hospital for treatment but they, the hospital said they could not operate me. Instead they referred me to Mulago. Due to financial constraints, I did not go. I feel pain and the bones have continued to grow out. (Interviewee, 2) Factors Facilitating Integration Many factors played a role with regards to how successful the returnees perceived their reintegration. Amongst the factors that facilitated integration processes were the benefits derived from supporting one another through the creation of peer-groups, as well as drama, dance, community dialogue and counselling. 7
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Peer-group Many of the returnees pointed out that the social support provided by various peer groups facilitated by NGOs such as People’s Voice for Peace (PVP) and Empowering Hands were particularly successful in facilitating reintegration. The participants pointed out that to network with others and share similar experiences are especially helpful. It made them realise that they were not alone in their plight and also alleviated feelings of alienation and ostracism. Peer-groups also enabled the pooling of social support and other resources which assist integration. Being in the group makes me feel valued and by sharing experiences, I understand that there are also some people who had almost the same experience as I had during the war. (Interviewee, 5) Counselling NGO reception centres such as Empowering Hands and People’s Voice for Peace provide counselling for returnees. This is one returnee’s experience of the counselling provided and how it assisted her cope with day-to-day challenges: The counselling I received while at the rehabilitation centre and trainings by Empowering Hands has enabled me to gain courage to cope with life’s challenges … and how to handle different personalities in the community. Now, I feel even if someone says anything bad about me, considering what I went through while in the bush, I know how to handle it. For example, when one, calls me “Kony” meaning; rebel, I welcome it. (got emotional) sometimes I keep quiet and ignore them but if they persist, I accept because I know deep down my heart I did not join the rebels willingly. (Interviewee, 9) After I received counselling and training by Empowering Hands, I realized that I can socialize freely with members in the community. (Interviewee, 1) Counselling empowered these young women to handle on-going issues such as prejudice and stigmatization. Moreover, it enabled them to reach a level of understanding of their situation and potential for growth. It can be concluded that the participants found counselling very beneficial to the healing process and also their relationship with the broader community.
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  • Summer '16
  • Ramon Wawire
  • The Land, Lord's Resistance Army, Military use of children

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