In a remote region of the North East Democratic Republic of Congo the Kiliwa community lives in constant fear. Fear of abduction and murder by Joseph Kony's Lords Resistance Army, the LRA.
This documentary is a story about Kiliwa, one of the first communities in the DRC to have recorded a mass attack by the LRA, and one of the most under developed places in the world. It is a story about the children of Kiliwa, those who have survived abduction, escaped and returned home from the LRA. The rebel group originated in Uganda and is responsible for Africa's longest running armed conflict abducting thousands of children and killing thousands of civilians. For many children and parents living in Kiliwa memories of violence and child abduction are very clear in their minds.
Della Kilroy followed the community as they took on a new kind of community based intervention programme, the lead research of which was done by Dublin born Paul O'Callaghan.
We hear from children who have escaped, about their time with the LRA and their experiences when they return home. For one girl she returned home to find her family had been killed, and for another boy he tells us about his time spent with LRA leader Joseph Kony. We hear how he managed to escape. We also hear from parents, including one father whose son was taken in 2011 and has not yet returned from the LRA, as they call it there, 'the bush.'
For some children stigma attached with the LRA leads them to being isolated once they return back to their community. Program Manager Lindsay Branham from American NGO, Discover the Journey, and Fr. Ernest Sugule from a local organisation called SAIPED, spent time within the community working on new methods of rehabilitation techniques including a 'mobile cinema' experience. Paul O'Callaghan completed a doctorate in Queen's University and focused on the psychological research. They give their account of the effects violence, fear and abduction has had on the community.
In Kiliwa, children and families regularly gather under the nearby mango tree, getting shade from the hot sun. This is where most of their stories were recorded.
Under the Mango Tree was made as part of RTÉ Radio's 'One World' series.
Narrated and produced by Della Kilroy
Production Supervision by Sarah Blake
Sound Supervision by Mark Dwyer
Produced in partnership with Irish Aid
First Broadcast 27th October 2012
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