Anywar Ricky Richard calls himself a child born of trouble. He has survived his share. Ricky and his brother were just 2 of 25,000 Ugandan children abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army and forced into slavery as child soldiers. The 22 year old war is all that most of these children have ever known. The boys are forced to kill or be killed. Most of the girls are sex slaves. All of the children see and do what no child should ever experience.
Few manage to escape with their lives, but Ricky did. Improbably, despite his self-described “interrupted childhood”, Ricky earned a college degree and got a good job working for the Ugandan Ministry of Education and Sports.
But something was missing for Ricky. He returned to the war zone. He turned his freedom into a lifeline for other child slaves. In 1999, Ricky and his friends started Friends of Orphans (FRO), an organization dedicated to empower and reintegrate former child soldiers into a society torn apart by atrocities the children were forced to commit.