When Faida was eleven years old, she was kidnapped by one of the many armed groups operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It was the beginning of a nightmare that lasted four years, during which she was forced to be both a sex slave and a soldier.
“I don’t think I would have survived if Murhabazi hadn’t rescued me. He risked his own life for me. He’s like a father to me,” says Faida.
Faida learns about her rights
“In DR Congo, children have to do what adults tell them to do. When adults treat us in a particular way you just think that’s the way it’s meant to be, even if it doesn’t feel right. So it’s very easy to be exploited if you don’t know about your rights. I didn’t even know that children had rights until I met Murhabazi. Now I know that everything I went through during the war was wrong and that my rights were ignored,” says Faida.
Loves: Peace. This is the first year in a very long time that I have not been involved in war.
Hates:War and death.
The worst thing that's happened to me: Being kidnapped and becoming a soldier and a sex slave.
Best thing that’s happened to me: When Murhabazi rescued me and I got to go back to school.
Looks up to: Murhabazi of course! He saved my life.
Wants to be: Someone who fights to make sure children have good lives.
Dream: For all the children in the world to live in peace and be loved.
Text: Andreas Lönn
Photos: Bo Öhlén