When someone manages to escape captivity in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) or other armed group, they are often hundreds of miles from home with no money, food, or resources.  Invisible Children coordinates with local and international partners, community volunteers, and civil society to provide recent escapees with safe shelter, immediate medical and psychosocial care, and help reuniting with their families.









By the numbers

More than 200 former armed group captives reunited with family since 2018

89% of They Came At Night viewers express greater acceptance of armed group returnees

Providing Safe Shelter and Transitional Care

As soon as possible, we place returnees with trained volunteer foster families who provide safe shelter and care while we locate the returnee’s family and arrange for their travel home. This immediate care is often crucial to protecting escapees from being harmed or re-abducted. We provide a small stipend to foster families as well as a Welcome Kit to the returnee containing clothes, toiletries, and other necessities. We also offer one-on-one trauma counseling with trained psychologists and arrange for medical care. 

Locating and Reuniting Families

Engaging an extensive network of local volunteers, who we train in family tracing protocols, we seek out and contact family members of each returnee. Once returnees are prepared to return and travel can be arranged, we bring them home and reunite them with their families. When necessary, we work with partners and local authorities to repatriate returnees who escape captivity outside their home countries. 

Equipping Local Communities to Help Escapees

We engage local communities in efforts to help armed group escapees through screenings and guided discussions of our Mobile Cinema film, They Came At Night. The film’s story sheds light on the experiences of former child soldiers and demonstrates the role communities can play in welcoming and reintegrating them into their fold. We also provide practical training and resources for communities so they are able to offer immediate care and contact Invisible Children when an escapee arrives in their community.


Invisible Children primarily supports escapees from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) which operates mainly in areas of eastern Central African Republic (CAR), and northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The LRA originated in Uganda and has historically operated in areas of Sudan and South Sudan, so we also work with partners to support LRA escapees coming or returning to those countries when needed.

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