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This book is a product of a research project called ‘voices of youth’ carried out - page 73 / 125





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A Lost Generation: Young People and Conflict in Africa

of killers’. The community uses languages that are not welcoming to our children. Children play, and sometimes they are rough like any other child whether born in captivity or not. But they always refer to my child as having cen. When sometimes I keep quiet, just reflecting on my life, some people start saying that it seems those things from the bush are coming back in my mind. There is a difference between those who were in captivity and those members of the community. The community segregates us even on issues that are obvious.

It is not easy to get into a relationship when you are from the bush. If the boy is not aware of your background you can get on well, but if the boy is aware, it’s very difficult for him to accept you as a wife. Most of the men just play with girls like us. I have a man and we are still living together. He is not bad, though he does not provide for my child. He has allowed my son to live with us, which is very rare. I am very grateful to my current husband because he does not point a finger at my son and he has never referred to him as Kony. For those who came back with their spouses or who are living together with their so-called husbands, life is a bit easy for them because they can work together doing things like digging28 to feed the children.

Girls get a lot of difficulties and stigmatisation compared to boys. This is because girls come back when they are either pregnant or with a child. How to keep the child you have to leave it all to God, because it is very hard, and that is the most difficult situation that child mothers from captivity are facing. Those who came back with their spouses or living together with their so-called husbands, life is a bit easy for them because they can work together doing things like digging29 to feed the children.

Those child mothers who have been living in the camps, or those who dropped out of school, manage to keep their relationships going for a long time. This is because you know where the other comes from. This is not like some of us who were just allocated a man who is sometimes as older than your father. Those child mothers who are not formerly abducted have a brighter future, because even when you separate from each other the child knows the father and even their home, which is very important in Acholi culture. The child can easily point at their homes, the aunties, uncles, grandmother and so on. The man can easily give help to the child. But for some of us who came back from the bush pregnant and others with children, life is so hard because you come back and there is no-one to give assistance.

My mother in-law is so bad. She hates me so much that she cannot even eat the food that I have cooked. She tells my husband: ‘Living with formerly abducted people is not easy - I told you before, now you try it yourself. There are many nice, good girls in the camp, and I cannot guess why you had to marry a woman who was in the



  • .e. performing agricultural labour.

  • .e. performing agricultural labour.

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