Samuel’s own resilience has been called upon by the needs of his family. He must over- come the trauma he has experienced in order to fill the role of breadwinner.
“Life is harder now than before I was ab- ducted because there are so many gaps that need to be filled,” Samuel said.
A diagnosis of PTSD would not help Samuel pay his siblings and children’s school fees. Now 28, Samuel is attempting to put together the jagged pieces of a life that existed 10 years ago. He was deprived of five crucial years when, if everything had gone according to plan, he would have been educated and trained in a productive career field. With or without the necessary education, Samuel is expected to be the breadwinner for his large and extended family, especially since his father was killed.
“I have six brothers and sisters. I have two children. There is no change now. If my father were here, things would be better. Now with all these responsibilities, all these demands, when I’m not even earning anything. I am tak- ing responsibility that I’m not prepared for,” Samuel said.
Many child soldiers return home to communities with little or no established healthcare or established services to help with reintegration long term.
Samuel initially went through a rehabilitation center called Rachele, where they gave him merchandise to sell, and he is thankful for that. However, “they have ended with that kind of support and I’m back to square one,” Samuel said. “From here, I see no support. Among my own people, I see no support.”
The most important thing for Samuel is to be productive and to pay for food and school fees for his younger siblings and his children. He must use the resources he has to reintegrate and survive.