We're three weeks into rehearsal for War Children, our devised play about child soldiers. The rehearsals have been intense, sometimes emotionally draining, but always exhilarating.
Thursday night we had a visit from Grace Akallo, founder and executive director of United Africans for Women and Children, and herself a former child soldier. Grace, who is from Uganda, came in to share her experiences as an abductee in the army of the infamous rebel general Joseph Kony.
Her talk was frank, informative, chilling at times, and quite moving. There was much for us to consider in our work and even more in our lives.
The work of her NGO centers around helping women who were child soldiers and their children gain more stable lives. We urge you to visit their website to understand the important work they are doing.
From the United Africans for Women and Children website:
United Africans for Women and Children Rights (UAWCR) rises from the belief that safeguarding the rights of vulnerable women and children is a key to attaining a peaceful and healthy community, which is crucial for building democratic institutions and economic development. We vigorously promote democratic non-violent principles, gender equity and child protection in Africa through education, grassroots advocacy and research. We advocate for changes in policy and legislative environments directly from African governments and International Organizations (U.N.) necessary for effective education of girls, economic development for women, political gender equity and ending violence against women and girls.