Goma 1

This body map was created in Goma by three individuals, all of whom are NGO programmers who work with underage combatants. Staff from ETN, HHI and ECI oversaw this body mapping session. 

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While the male body maps document a general sense of isolation, one of the female body maps discusses rejection specifically because they  had borne children while in armed groups. The Goma body map notes display a vignette of a female former underage combatant’s homecoming with her children, “Here is a girl that had children with a soldier after being raped. An X’ is placed over the soldier to show that he is not around. There is also a line drawn from the girl with children to her family. You can see that many girls are rejected when they return home with children and no husband.”


The body maps repeatedly characterize former underage combatants as financially unstable and, therefore, perceived as potentially dangerous elements in the community. Although former combatants may have had some access to resources while in armed groups, many experienced intense poverty during reintegration. The Goma participants describe the following: “One soldier has money on one side of the paper and on the other side of the paper there is a child soldier without money to show the lack of financial resources available after being demobilized.”