Future Plans is a project with men, women and children forced to be child soldiers of the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army, an armed extremist group). A conflict that ravaged northern Uganda and southern Sudan from 1986 until 2005, when the LRA was shifted to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The brutality of the LRA against civilians is the reality of all children, now adults, some with sons and daughters. When, after years of captivity, they return to their land or their families, they are often rejected by their own families or their neighbours, fearful that the LRA army is going to abduct them in the village again or because they think they are crazy. In other cases they do not have family because the family was killed when their village was attacked and they were abducted. Almost 2 million people were displaced from their homes and forced to live in refugee camps.
The problem of child soldiers and the biggest problem, their reintegration, is still far from resolved in the world, but is a necessary condition for achieving true peace after a war. We all know the traumas that many of the soldiers returning from a war have. Their problems with adapting to the family environment and their psychological problems. What happens if you add that you've lost your family and you have nowhere to go back to? You were kidnapped at the age of nine and the last ten or fifteen years of your life you were forced to live in the jungle or desert. Fighting, forced to kill or die, uneducated, used as sex slave and psychologically destroyed. They need a chance, a new life, start from scratch.
Through these portraits these children, women and their children are presented. Behind them is a wall with a list of all the things they lost during their years of captivity and, the most important, the list of their hopes, their plans for the future.
In some cases these future plans are already being met, in other cases they are difficult to meet but they maintain the hope, a hope that keeps them alive, after returning from captivity in the worst conditions and eager to continue fighting every day to regain some of its past and build a future. A future where peace is the first priority, a peace that is built with the hope of these ex-child soldiers, peace and hope they represent with their lives and their future.
Imagine that your life is a blank wall. Imagine you have a chalk to write. And you have a new opportunity to write your future. What would you write on it?