This is Charles. He is a police constable in northern Uganda. Charles recently completed War Child’s sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) training. He felt he urgently needed to get a better understanding of the pervasive problem of sexual violence in his region.

Rape is commonplace in northern Uganda, and far too often the victims are children. Charles’ community has only one under-funded rural police outpost, so War Child’s training was a great opportunity to expand his skill set.

He didn’t expect that shortly after the training, his little sister would be raped.

You can imagine his horror at hearing this news. It is hard to contemplate the pain she must have felt as she told him the details. But with his new skills, at least Charles knew what to do. He had her taken to the hospital for HIV testing, a medical examination and a rape kit. He then ensured that the perpetrator was tracked down and brought to justice.

Charles has made a personal commitment to ensuring that parents and community leaders have the information they need to help prevent sexual violence. He is already seeing the results of his efforts.

“Members of the community have shown an increasing commitment to the prevention of sexual violence. I see it in the number of cases reported to me. Before my community interventions, the number of child abuse cases was very worrying and only one or two a month were actually reported.”

The work that War Child is doing in northern Uganda – and many other countries – is essential.  For Charles’ little sister, he feared her childhood was stolen from her the day she was raped. But now that her perpetrator is behind bars, she has the opportunity carry on with her life and become a productive, valuable member of her community. Childhood does have the power to break the cycle of violence, if you choose to protect it.

By giving a donation today, you can help us to train more community leaders like Charles, as well as provide support to each of our other programs happening in some of the most unstable regions of the world.

Where childhood thrives, war does not.