Yesterday, while on patrol, a young girl told me that an older boy from her village was forcing her to spy on UN troops. She was scared and looked like she had been beaten. We are so deep in the bush that I had no clue what to do with her. I don’t know what organizations work with children in the area so I told her to find me again when I come back to patrol his area at the end of the week. I hope I did the right thing.
Back at base I shared my story with some other peacekeepers around the dinner table. They were unable to give me any advice as to what I should do. I heard that there should be a child protection officer at our base but they have been called to another part of the country.
I was unable to sleep that night. I lay awake thinking about a child who needs my help…Help that I am unable to give her.