As we prepare to kick off the holiday season, #GivingTuesday is right around the corner. Millions will celebrate the global day of generosity on November 30, 2021, by donating to create a better future for our shared communities.
Join the movement by igniting hope for survivors of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) captivity — people like Augustin*.
At 38 years old, Augustin enjoyed a contented life with his wife and their ten children in his small hometown of Mboki, Central African Republic (CAR). Augustin spent his days like many in his communities, tending to a small field outside of town where he grew crops to feed and provide for his family.
Everything changed on Christmas in 2019, when he was abducted by LRA fighters. Augustin was forced to carry heavy loads as the group traveled by foot, attacking and looting communities across the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
By March of 2020, Augustin was far from home and the hard labor caused him to develop a painful and life-threatening hernia. He began to lose hope that he would ever see his wife and children again. He pleaded with the commander of the group to let him go and, to his surprise, his request was granted.
On March 11, four LRA fighters took Augustin to the outskirts of a nearby town and set him free. Local authorities quickly reached out to Invisible Children, and we made arrangements for Augustin to travel to the nearest hospital for a life-saving surgery. A week later, he was released from the hospital and our team was already making progress to locate and contact his family back in Mboki.
Augustin was still not well enough to make the long journey home. So, over the next few months, he stayed with an Invisible Children-trained host family in Dungu, DRC. As he recovered, Augustin was determined not to let his past with the LRA dictate his future. He could no longer continue his life as a farmer, so he decided to learn a new trade to provide for his family.
In May, Augustin began taking tailoring courses, sponsored by Invisible Children. His confidence and hope for his future grew as he learned how to measure and cut fabric and how to operate a sewing machine. As he mastered these new skills, he knew that when he saw his family again, he would be able to safely provide for their wellbeing.
Finally, in November, Augustin had fully recovered from surgery and mastered his new trade. Invisible Children arranged a flight to bring him back to his family in Mboki. Today, Augustin is happy to be reunited with his loved ones, living the life he once thought he had lost forever. Augustin’s story of hope is possible thanks to Invisible Children supporters who helped provide life-saving medical care, resources to reunite with his family, and the training to create a sustainable livelihood.
This #GivingTuesday, help others like Augustin build the bright futures they are hoping for. Today, more than 70 LRA escapees like Augustin are currently in Invisible Children’s care as we help them prepare to return home to their families. Your gift can provide safe shelter, medical care, trauma-informed counseling, and a way to return home.