Recently, we formed a new partnership to rescue sex slaves and child soldiers in Africa. 

Ruthless militia bands began using local villages as “resupply stations,” stealing what they wanted and brutalizing the local inhabitants. It’s only the latest development in a long line of atrocities committed in the war-torn region. Ancient tribal differences combined with political instability have boiled over into a cross-border conflict that has claimed millions of lives in the last several decades.

In this particular area, the militias would tear families apart, kidnapping children at gunpoint. The soldiers forced the children to join their raiding parties; the girls were used as sex slaves, while the boys were forced into serving either as pack mules or as child soldiers

The horrors these kids endured and witnessed during their time with the raiders were appalling in the extreme. Once the traumatized kids were no longer “useful,” the fighters abandoned them in the jungle to find their own way home. But when the militia came back through the area, the horrific process started all over again.

Even though we didn’t have an established project in this area, we knew we needed to help. To that effect, we partnered with two local experts with ground-level experience of the problem. 

This brave couple, who we’ll call the Kilubas, have first-hand knowledge of the militias’ atrocities. Not only had they been displaced by the violence, but the brave couple had already taken in seven child survivors on their own.

The Kilubas helped establish a secret system of checkpoints through the jungle, allowing the kids to escape the hellish cycle. With their parents’ blessing and a bit of money, survivors slip away to the nearby city.

African children exiting a trailer to join a refugee camp. Africa is the continent with the highest number of displaced persons (Image is representational)

African children exiting a trailer to join a refugee camp. Africa is the continent with the highest number of displaced persons (Image is representational)


So far, we’ve rescued 14 more children from the militias.

We’re equipping the children to provide for themselves. Some of the older boys have entered trade school, and many of the other kids contribute by helping the adults with their small businesses.

We’re also training the Kilubas in the life-changing EMPOWER trauma resilience training program so they can better help traumatized kids navigate what they’ve endured. In addition, we’ve implemented individualized Freedom Plans for each child that help them navigate this unique situation and move forward in freedom.

All the while, the Godly couple has been diligently discipling and nurturing the kids. They lead regular family Bible studies several times a week and have even plugged into a local church, where they all sing together in a choral group.

These activities must be done with the utmost care to protect the children’s identities. On top of avoiding street crime and government corruption, the kids might actually be viewed as “deserters of the cause” because of the city’s political alignment with the ravaging militia. Because of this, the group must keep the kids’ identities secret, even from the church they attend.

At the time of writing this article, we’re helping care for 21 kids and young adults, including a few infants born to victims raped by the militia. 

Image (right): The girls help in the small business

Image (left): The boys harvest corn

But we don’t want to stop there. To rescue more children, we’ve decided to pilot a project with these incredible partners. Due to the nature of the work, the exact location is undisclosed.

Please consider joining us as we, yet again, forge ahead in our commitment to adapt our rescue model to meet needs and rescue as many as possible. This particular situation is especially dangerous, both to the kids and the rescuers, but we won’t stand by when we can offer help.

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