Sharing the Burden of the Past: Peer Support and Self-Help among Former LRA Youth

Youth in the LRA

Youth in the LRA

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)’s use of abducted children and youth has been much researched, and the horrors of their experiences in captivity and difficulties reintegrating into their communities recorded. Nonetheless, the existing disarmament, demobilization and reintegration strategies pursued to date are brief and insufficient interventions.

 This project was conducted by Justice and Reconciliation Project and Quaker Peace & Social Witness. Both organizations had encountered in the course of previous research the existence of self-formed groups of formerly abducted persons (FAPs) / former-LRA, and wanted to assess the role they could and did play in the process of grassroots level reintegration and reconciliation.

 Our findings suggest that former LRA peer support groups are an important and effective vehicle for reintegration and reconciliation, all the more so given the paucity of alternative long-term reintegration provision. Former LRA peer groups positively affect:

  • economic reintegration including provision of livelihoods and microfinance
  • social inclusion and reintegration
  • community reconciliation
  • psychosocial development
  • cultural education and reconnection

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