CRS’ Sister Pauline Acayo of Uganda spoke to the Catholic Review about how the Church continues address conflict and help child soldiers.
“The Catholic Church has been very strong – they don’t shy away,” Sister Pauline said. “They go on the radio, hand out press releases and flyers telling about the things going on there. We’re lucky that in Uganda we have freedom of speech. That has given a lot of opportunities for our religious leaders to talk openly.”
Cross-border dialogue with political and religious leaders in nearby South Sudan and with rebel leaders provides some optimism, said Sister Pauline, who gets to see former rebels enjoy the childhood that was almost snatched from them. Since 2005, she estimates that more than 5,000 kids have been helped with the support of CRS.
“I feel so happy when the kids are happy where they’re at and when they’re doing well in their communities,” she said. “When they’re able to open up and share freely – some of them used to sit there and not talk at all. The little we’re doing, it’s bringing a bit of peace in the community and making these kids be normal human beings.”
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