iCare - Refugee Aware

A Little Girl’s Experience of Joining the Army in Honduras
“At the age of 13, I joined the student movement. I had a dream to contribute to make things change, so that children would not be hungry … later I joined the armed struggle. I had all the inexperience and the fears of a little girl. I found out that girls were obliged to have sexual relations ‘to alleviate the sadness of the combatants’. And who alleviated our sadness after going with someone we hardly knew? At my young age I experienced abortion. It was not my decision. There is a great pain in my being when I recall all these things … In spite of my commitment, they abused me, they trampled my human dignity. And above all, they did not understand that I was a child and that I had rights.” (Garca’a Machel, (1996) Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Children: Impact of armed conflict on children)

Every refugee has a story to tell. Stories of courage and fear; joy and pain; life and death. Stories of events so atrocious that most of us will never come within a hundred miles of experiencing an iota of them.

The iCARE programme is designed to bring you into contact with refugees who have literally lived to tell the tale. They will speak of their pre-migration, migration and post-migration experiences and what it means to lose the only place they’d always called ‘home’.

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