CAR | 2021 | CBPF
Central African Republic. The boy was 13 when war broke out where he lived in Central African Republic. When they reached his hometown, armed groups coming from the north enrolled him by force in their army.
He remained in the army for two years until he met with staff from ESPERANCE, a local NGO working on child protection projects in partnership with the CAR (Central African Republic) Humanitarian Fund.
In November 2021, ESPERANCE and other organizations succeeded in recovering seven children, including him, who were recruited into armed groups. The boys were placed in transitional foster families.
The children received psychological support during their stay with host families, as the NGO, working with MINUSCA and UNICEF, worked to trace their families.
He believed all his family members were dead. They, in turn, had no information about where he had been, or where he was now.
They finally found the boy’s family in another town, 500 km from where he was now through this family tracing work. In two weeks, he was reunited. It was with great joy that the child was welcomed by his parents.
The family members and neighbors gathered to celebrate the reunion. His mother said, “I don’t have words to express it. I didn’t believe that I could find my child again alive one day.”
More information on the CAR Humanitarian Fund: