From toy soldiers to child soldier.

From toy soldiers to child soldier.

  • Sudden Conflict
  • DRC
  • Child Protection
  • Video Story

My grandfather asked me to collect firewood. That’s when they kidnapped me.

June 13, 2019

Owa was helping out his grandfather at their family farm.

“I asked Owa to go fetch some firewood. Information reached me that my grandson was taken,” said Owa’s grandfather.

Owa was just a child when he was abducted from the safety of his home, and forced to become a child soldier “I have seen people being killed. People are being killed just like nothing,” said Owa. He was forced to murder, steal, and abduct other children. If he argued or refused, he would have been killed.

South Sudan has had a long, shameful history of using child combatants in their numerous civil wars. In 2018, South Sudan’s leaders signed an international treaty committing to end the recruitment of child soldiers. However, the UN estimates 19,000 boys and girls are still involved with armed groups.

In July 2018, Owa was finally released by the armed group. His exposure to violence led to trauma-related disorders which caused him to become aggressive. Our rehabilitation and reintegration have been helping Owa recover and become a child again.

Today, he’s enrolled in the Tindoka Vocational Training Centre where he is receiving electrical installations training. “The vocational centre even changed my thinking. It will change my life. It will give me a better future,” says Owa.

The Centre is a government facility ran with the support World Vision and UNICEF, where children released from armed forces and groups learn skills such as carpentry, electrics, building and tailoring.

What can I do?

It’s easy to feel helpless in situations like this but rest assured… you, us, everyone, together, can help make life-changing impact. And we are!

Here are three different ways you can be a part of the change.

  1. 1

    Donate

    Every gift makes a difference. Our Childhood Rescue fund helps children living in the world’s most dangerous places.

  2. 2

    Share on Social Media

    Raising awareness is vital. Help make people aware of the situation and the difference we can make, together.

Learn More

Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo

Over 6 million

people have died from waves of war and famines over the last twenty years

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country of vast natural wealth. Its natural resources include diamonds, gold, cobalt and oil. Yet these riches have brought suffering to its people. The decades-long armed violence between government and various rebel forces nicknamed “Africa’s world war” has crippled the country.

  • Rebel groups have taken over vast amounts of land, starving civilians and crippling the nation's economy
  • Sexual violence is widespread
  • Measles and Ebola outbreaks have hit impoverished Congolese communities