Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | February 20, 2013

Former teen combatants look to rebuild sense of family.

Many former teen combatants, who are taking part in government and NGO programs to help them resettle after life in armed groups, rapidly form couples and there is a high rate of teenage pregnancy, according to Overcoming Lost Childhoods, a Care International report about rehabilitating Colombian child soldiers.

Although teenage pregnancy is generally high in Colombia, psychologists and youth workers say the motivation and intent of former child soldiers in starting a family is to mourn their own childhoods and recreate the sense of family.

When a young couple is expecting a child, the government programs set up the couple in their own apartment. Consequently, this adds to feelings of isolation of living in a big city when all they have known before is the countryside.

Teen pregnancy is already one of the main causes of poverty in Colombia.

Related:

Colombia’s macho society asks former combatants to return to gender stereotypes.

Reintegration of former combatants: not a peace initiative but a security program.

The psychological, cognitive and behavioral challenges of child soldiers coming home.

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