Joyce, a child soldier at 8: “I finally have a future to look forward to”

When she was eight, Joyce was kidnapped by the LRA rebels, raped, and forced to become a mother at 14. She finally escaped with her daughter but was then shunned by her community for returning with a “rebel” child and threatened to kill her.

Traumatized, Joyce stayed awake most nights, both trying to deal with her war trauma and trying to figure out how to make ends meet so she could raise her daughter.

Joyce then joined our trauma recovery and entrepreneurship program in her community, a program we’ve helped over 2,600 former child soldiers and community members graduate from. She receives trauma counseling and entrepreneurship training, and participates in our community farming and savings and loan projects.

Joyce is now beginning to recover, and she feels significantly more hopeful:

“I’m happy that I am a part of a group that understands the things that happened in my life, and that we are working together to promote peace. I feel that I’m gaining economic independence and self-confidence, and I finally have a future to look forward to.”

Like Joyce, tens of thousands of former child soldiers face immense challenges when they return home. We at GRG help them help themselves through proactive projects in their home communities. Former child soldiers and community members work together on organic farming, animal husbandry, and trauma counseling to build economic resilience and self-reliance.

But we need your help to continue these sustainable projects. COVID-19 has severely affected our ability to raise funds, and we may have to curtail projects next year. Please consider donating to help us reach our goal of raising $10,000, so we can keep these life-giving projects alive in 2022.

Thank you again for all of your support. 

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