Helping former child soldiers rejoin society is familiar territory for Adriana. She was raised by her uncle in a small village where armed insurgents operated openly. Two older siblings had already left home to fight when she joined the National Liberation Army, one of several guerrilla groups in Colombia’s brutal civil conflict. She was just 12 years old, three days shy of her fifth-grade graduation.
Today, at age 22, Adriana is part of the five-person Mercy Corps team that helps demobilized teens rebuild their lives. She went through the program herself, and these former combatants look to her as an example of what it looks like to start over.