What The Girls Say: Practical Guide

In October 2016, Child Soldiers International presented its research findings at a workshop in Goma which brought together DDR actors, UN agencies, NGOs and government representatives.

The workshop participants listened to the hardships and recommendations of girls formerly associated with armed groups, as reported by Child Soldiers International, and then discussed solutions and proposed interventions to meet the girls’ needs, facilitate their release and reintegration while respecting their rights.

This guide is a collection of practical ideas and experiences from the participants in the Goma workshop. It is presented as a “toolbox” to help DDR actors respond to the needs of girls formerly associated with armed groups in eastern DRC, and to overcome the many obstacles to their release and reintegration, reported by some of the girls themselves. Many of the interventions proposed in this guide are not new and have already been used by some NGOs. However, they are not necessarily known or systematically used by all DDR actors.

The child protection actors interviewed by the research team highlighted the fact that funding for child DDR had ceased or that it had become so restricted that they could only reach a very small number of children associated with armed groups in their area. For this reason, with the exception of education, this guide focuses on interventions that are inexpensive and can be carried out by community members - building on existing community resources.

Download the guide here.