Rena Effendi’s early work focused on oil industry’s effects on people’s lives. As a result, she followed a 1,700 km oil pipeline through Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey, collecting stories along the way. This work was published in 2009 in...
Congolese nun Sister Angelique Namaika attends early morning mass at the Catholic Church in Dungu, Congo DRC, where she has been working since 2008 supporting and assisting women victims of the Lord Resistance Army violence. She has received the prestigious Nansen Refugee Award for her work.
Lois, 18 y.o. was abducted by the Lord Resistance Army during an attack on her native village of Duru. A few years after the abduction, she finally managed to escape along with her two children fathered by one of the LRA soldiers, who had kidnapped her. She and her boys live in the UNHCR IDP camp in Dungu.
Marie 17 y.o. has been abducted by the LRA, but she managed to escape and now lives at the UNHCR IDP camp. Mari and other women victims of LRA violence stop for a break after planting soya in the three hectars of land in Nanzawa. Sister Angelique has provided the land to support the women in income generation and subsistance farming.
Marie, 34 y.o. lost her father in the LRA attack on her native village of Ngilima. She managed to escape along with her ten children. Her father was the sole provider for the single mother Marie and her children.
Jean, 55 y.o. was abducted by the LRA and mutilated. One of the LRA battalion commanders ordered to cut off her lips with a machete knife after they had killed her husband. "My lips fell into my lap like a donut" - she recalled. She was sent back to her village as a living example of brutality in order to spread fear in Ngilima, a.k.a. "The Triangle of Death".
Ruth lost her sister, grandfather and her brother in law in one of the LRA raids on her native village of Ngilima. All three were murdered. Ruth and her other family members, along with her children escaped and could not manage to return to the village to pick up the bodies of her family members.
Villagers build a new market in Ngilima, named "The Triangle of Death" due to the frequency of deadly attacks by the LRA. Ngilima is currently populated by refugees from other nearby villages, the original Nglima residents all fled with the trauma still haunting them.
Felicite 18 y.o. was abducted by the LRA when he was a teenage boy and was forced to commit violence. While trying to escape he was shot in his hand and due to subsequent infection his hand was amputated. He subsequently returned to his family home in Dungu.
Bishop Abbé Benoît Kinalegu set up a rehabilitation center in Dungu to help some of the most traumatized children who escaped from the LRA and are in need to find their families and try to restore a normal life. He also negotiated and facilitated the release of about 80 abducted children from the LRA.
Jean Paul Simba 16 y.o. was abducted by the LRA, but managed to escape. He is currently enrolled in a psychological rehabilitation program at the Rehabilitation Center founded by Father Abbe Benoit in Dungu.
Ravaged by a never-ending war between various militias, rebels groups, and criminal combatants, the Democratic Republic of Congo, where rape and abduction have been used as weapons of war, is one of the most dangerous places for women and children in the world. The Lord’s Resistance Army, a militant movement formed in 1987 (and dubbed as "rebels without a cause") was infamous for its viciousness, but now three decades into its existence, the LRA's numbers have dwindled. And although the movement responsible for displacing 2.5 million people in the DRC is currently in survival mode, it's history of brutal killings and mutilation, raping of women and abduction of children has terrorized local communities, haunting them to this day. Many still remain in the grips of their trauma and are too terrified to go back to their homes.