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This book is a product of a research project called ‘voices of youth’ carried out - page 75 / 125

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A Lost Generation: Young People and Conflict in Africa

tenants. But what really made me leave was the kind of treatment the neighbours were giving my children and me. I bought new shoes for my child and they were cut, my new slippers I bought were cut, and to make it worse the new bag that I bought was cut into pieces right from inside my house. I reported the case to my brother but there was nothing much he could really do and he also advised me to leave.

I decided to collect all my things ready to go and rent elsewhere. Then I decided why should I continue to suffer, I would just go and live with my husband since he had already returned. I told my parents that I was living with my former husband from the bush because life was very hard and I could not manage it on my own. My parents accepted me reuniting with my husband. I really did not want to reunite with him but conditions forced me to do so.

He officially took bridewealth to my family this year. We are still living happily because he takes care of my children and me as well. The community talks a lot about me and my children. They like pointing fingers at me, saying we are now rich with the blood of people. They also sometimes make comments like ‘Kony has made some people’s daughters rich!’ My children are stubborn and it’s true they behave like military, hence they face a lot of stigmatisation from the community. Many parents do not want their children to associate with mine, saying they will teach their children those manners of Kony. While we were still in the bush, my elder boy asked his father a very serious question: ‘Daddy, you keep on living under a tree - don’t you have a home?’ It was on that day that my husband started planning to release me so that I could come back home with his children, and I was even pregnant by that time.

I am so grateful and happy, for there is a big difference between me and other child mothers. This is because at least I am staying with my husband. The rest of the child mothers who have lost their husbands or whose husbands are still in captivity, have to struggle to make ends meet. There is no one to lean on when in need. If the rehabilitation centres were not supporting them, some child mothers would have run mad by now. When the food relief takes a long time to come, children move like mad people to other people’s doors, begging for food to eat. It’s so painful.

My being in the Mother-Daughter project has been a very good coping mechanism. It has helped me a lot and brought a lot of changes into my life. We share a lot of experiences and our matrons give us guidance on how to live with others and how to be tolerant with things that come our way. I really appreciate being in the group and the assistance rendered to us by the Mother-Daughter Project.

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