At 13 years, Youssouf embodies all the ills that have plagued the Central African Republic in recent years. On Mar. 24, he helped capture Bangui, the capital, as he fought in the ranks of the Séléka rebel coalition.
Sungu Mizele, a Congolese national living in Yambio, in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria state, earns a living selling the fruit and vegetables that she grows in her backyard, at the local town market. On average, she earns nine dollars a day. But on a good day, when she has fresh supplies, she can earn up to 31 dollars.
The protection of children remains critical in the Central African Republic, where parents willingly give their children to armed groups in exchange for protection and services.
Activists are aiming to renew the fight against the Lord's Resistance Army, the Ugandan rebel group made infamous by its ruthless leader Joseph Kony, despite noticeably diminished concern for the issue just months after the release of a controversial yet viral video about the leader.
"When I was still at school I was abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army, along with 139 other girls," says Grace Akallo. "I spent seven months in captivity, but I survived, I escaped and I went back home."