Understanding Ecologies: Post-Conflict Service Provision and the Resilience of Children Born in Captivity
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The conflict in northern Uganda often provokes images similar to those in the 2012 viral video of a warlord abducting young children and forcibly recruiting them to battle in a civil war. While these images helped to garner large-scale international efforts to assist victims of the conflict, this enthusiasm was relatively short-lived. As such, many of the most vulnerable victims, including children who were born within the captivity of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), continue to struggle. Moreover, although the conflict has been over for almost a decade, the longer term impacts of post-conflict initiatives have not been thoroughly investigated. The continued vulnerability of youth in Uganda, particular of children born in captivity, provokes the question – to what extent have post-conflict initiatives helped the most vulnerable overcome extreme adversity and hardship? This thesis examines this question by exploring how post conflict initiatives have shaped the environments in which children born in captivity live and develop within. Two main conclusions are suggested from this study. Firstly, in many cases post-conflict initiatives have either failed to remedy, or in some instance perpetuated the negative impacts of the conflict. Secondly, a small amount of initiatives have recognized that youth exist within multiple, interrelated environments and that the most effective post-conflict programming attempts to engage with a variety of these environments, rather than targeting solely the individual.