Nicola Testa testifies

A number of years ago I discovered the existence, and the problem, of child soldiers and particularly those in Sierra Leone. These children, torn from their families by guerrillas, drugged and armed and then sent into their village to loot, rape and murder even within their own homes. What happens to these children who grow up having lost everything, we end up treating them like criminals when they were really just victims? How can we help them to make a new life, to survive, to move on, when we know the nightmare they have lived?

I met WAPA some time ago. We talked about child soldiers, and other victims of war in Uganda and in Sri Lanka, countries in which they have been active for several years. Of course, the work they had done on the ground, whether for former child soldiers or all the other victims of these wars, struck a chord with me and reminded me how much this problem had touched me a few years earlier. I decided to accept the mission of ambassador that WAPA offered me. It was the human dimension and the philosophy of the association, as well as the energy expended by these 3 women that made me want to help them.

Together, you can, we can, help these children, these women, and these men to return to a life that war once stole from them. Without forcing them to tread a path already mapped out for them, but by allowing them to retrace the one they lost. For me that is the work of WAPA: providing a lifeline between a broken life and a new life”.

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