Refugee Settlement Camps – Southwestern Uganda
Child Soldier Interviews With: Wamahoro Fiye, Numucunzi Evaress, Ngoyi Freddie and Byabatware Frank — See Below
Abaho Gift Conrad
October Update Scroll Down: Watch Interviews With Four Children now Freed from having to fight on behalf of their Congolese abductors: Wamahoro Fiye, Numucunzi Evaress, Ngoyi Freddie and Byabatware Frank
Two Videos also feature more complete versions of their Tribal Dances
Child Soldiers: Free and Healing
These young Congolese were abducted from their homes, turned into child soldiers, forced to kill and to do a lot of nasty things under the orders of Mai Mai rebels.
They were recently freed from the war zone and 32 of them were brought here in Uganda to Rwamwanja Refugee Camp on 12th, August 2021.
Musical Ambassadors of Peace organized these 2 events in which we encouraged them to remember their traditional dance and native cultural awareness. We give them support, free counselling with trauma healing and career guidance sessions. We are helping them to feel human once again. We have to keep them active and engaged so we meet them every week to monitor their progress and conduct another language training session to help enable them to interact with the community freely.
We are also waiting to welcome the 835 Afghanistan refugees who will soon be relocated here to Rwamwanja.
Thank you MAP Board for the continued support.
These child soldiers were abducted and held prisoner by the Mai Mai in the Democratic Republic of Congo where they were forced to commit atrocities as part of their training.
Having been freed subsequent to a surrender of weapons by one of the Mai Mai groups, they are now entering their adolescent years in the refugee camps in Uganda where Musical Ambassadors of Peace is doing its healing work on their behalf. Only one of these four children has a surviving parent. These interviews were conducted by our Musical Ambassador, Abaho Gift Conrad, in the mutually intelligible Kirundi dialect of the Kinyarwanda language which is spoken in Rwanda, the North and South Kivu provinces of DR Congo, Burundi and in parts of southern Uganda.
June 2021 Update: One of the two tribal groups shown here are known as the most hostile refugee group in Africa.
They were former rebels, child soldiers and wives of fallen comrades who were engaged in a failed coup. They had to flee their home country but have been given refuge here in some of the camps where Musical Ambassadors of Peace works in Uganda. Initially it was very hard to hold these events because of their hostility but now they have accepted to be part of us. We look forward to bringing them completely on board with their beautiful music as part of our quarterly events. The fact that another related tribe from the Congo had joined the MAP events helped make the difference. Some of the former child soldiers expressed future interest in our work and gave us their contact information.
MAP has paid some of the costs related to procuring new traditional tribal costumes which can be seen in the videos.
We were also able to hold a counseling and trauma healing session but our plan to do a MAP-sponsored general cleaning campaign in Kyaka camp was put on hold because of the new lockdown. Next year we are planning to visit Bidi Bidi (the biggest resettlement camp in the world). We will of course be continuing our work in Rwamwanja and Kyaka camps as we have proven very popular among both the refugees and the commanders.
Resolving Inter-Tribal Conflicts
I am intending with the support of Musical Ambassadors of Peace to organize a first event of over 200 Refugees to present indigenous music, dance and song and restore hope and peace among different groups. These groups include Somali, Congolese, Eritrean, Burundians and Sudanese. The first event will be coordinated within Rwamwanja Refugee camp and will be designed to continue on either a Quarterly or Monthly basis. These events will build long term relationships between the different refugee communities. These intergroup representations would bring in a feeling of belongingness, togetherness and unity among refugees. Let’s work together for the Betterment of fellow humans.
As I conclude, I will never rest until refugees have hope, medicine and Food. -Abaho Gift Conrad