Help for Child Soldiers

Written by Janine Hill | 4th May 2009 | Sunshine Coast Daily

Lisa Lindley is off to Uganda to help traumatised child soldiers. Photo: Nicholas Falconer

When Lisa Lindley first heard psychologist doctor Robi Sonderegger speak about the work being done with traumatised child-soldiers in Uganda, she vowed to help.Five years later, the Buderim woman is doing exactly that.

Lisa and her friend, Fiona O’Donnell, of Canberra, boarded a plane to Uganda last Friday to put in three weeks as volunteers at displaced persons camps. The part-time psychologist and mother of three teenage children said she had made a promise to help to Dr Sonderegger when he spoke at a school function.“I couldn’t go then. My kids were too young then,” she said. “Eighteen months ago, I was in hospital for two months with a back operation that went wrong, and while I was there, I realised that my husband and kids could cope okay without me now. I realised I could go when I got strong again,” she said. Lisa regained her fitness and when she rang her old school friend, Fiona, to tell her about the trip, she volunteered to join her.

They were not exactly sure what to expect but would be working with others already involved in counselling and rehabilitating traumatised children and their communities.The modest mum said she did not deserve any kudos for her volunteer work. “There’s so many people like that. I don’t look at me as different from anyone else. There’s so many people who give their time and do things like that. I’m only going for three weeks. Other people pack up their whole families and go for a lot longer.”

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