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This book is a product of a research project called ‘voices of youth’ carried out - page 45 / 125

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3

A Lost Generation: Young People and Conflict in Africa

establish a household and have a normal life.

A child mother is often chased away from the family home and deprived of resources, and this is why they want to own property, including land, and conduct activities that will permit them to meet their needs and those of their children. At present girls do not have the right to inherit from their parents, and can expect no more from them than the minimum necessary for their survival.

As the majority of the girls have children, they would like their children to go to school and not to be mistreated by their families and neighbours. They also want to join associations and benefit from training to gain skills. In the case of those who have benefited from the ACORD project, they asked that other girls not yet identified should also be enabled to take up occupations, as they themselves have been.

Some illustrations from the testimonies

‘I would like there to be a bit more justice. I would like people to stop excluding me on the grounds that I was in the rebellion.’

‘I would like people to know that we have been given a lot of information that will help us to rejoin society. Now, we are like everybody else. We should all help each other and create a climate of mutual understanding. As for me, I need a patch of land to live off and so that I can buy myself some soap and other basic necessities.’

‘To ensure that girls affected by war and victims of violence are rehabilitated, ACORD must collaborate with the local administrators to ensure that people receive more intensified information, so that they respect the rights of young girls who are victims of violence, because they are not responsible for the consequences of the violence they have suffered.’

‘I wouldn’t ask for much, since I didn’t go very far in my studies, but if I could be a trader and earn my living, and meet my needs and those of my child without having to beg, or just have a little job…And for my child, I hope that he will succeed where I have failed.’

2.10 Summary: sexual violence against girls and its consequences

The war has had devastating impacts on young girls as well as on their families and on the community in general. In addition to the factors that have affected Burundian society in general – impoverishment, unemployment, urbanisation, displacement, settlement in overcrowded displaced camps, amongst others – the

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