Beyond Night Commuting: Psychosocial Needs among War Affected Children in Uganda

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From early 2004 to the end of 2006 Médecins sans Frontières provided a protective shelter for night commuting children in Northern Uganda. Originally the child shelter contained up to 4000 children and the children commuted every night from their villages to the shelter in fear of being abducted by the rebels for use as soldiers, sex slaves and porters. Because of the improved security situation the number of children decreased during 2006. In September 2006 Médecins sans Frontières made a qualitative research based screening of all of the remaining 745 children in order to identify the psychosocial needs and level of vulnerability of the children. The screening was designed with advocacy and applied short term response in mind. It showed that a significant part of the children in Northern Uganda have important needs that are not currently met in night commuter shelters or elsewhere.

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