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Profile of China Keitetsi
China Keitetsi was born in Uganda in 1976. At the age of eight years she fled the violent attempts of her irascible father and gets into a recruitment - camp of the Ugandan Resistance Army NRA (National Resistance Army) which is led by Yowere Museveni, todays president. There she was given a new name: She was called China by her instructor as she is slant-eyed. And she was given a gun.
Taking part in her first encounter she is confronted with the cruel reality of war completely unprepared. She learns fast though. To survive she must cut out her emotions. Deeper and deeper the young girl tangles into the spiral of violence. She kills, is a permanent fugitive, is wounded, is abused. Only 14 years of age she gives birth to her first child. Nonetheless the straight structured NRA is a substitute family for this uprooted girl.
After Musevenis victory 1986 Keitetsi firstly becomes bodyguard of a high ranked functionary, later on she changes to the Military Police. There she gets into desperate straits due to wrong accusations and flees - 19 years of age by now - Uganda. She reaches South Africa where she is tracked down by the secret service of Uganda and is heavily maltreated. By commitment of people in South Africa and with help of the United Nations she arrives in Denmark in 1999. Today she lives there, in Germany, or in the country of her parents, Rwanda.
In the aim to overcome her experiences Keitetsi brought her story to paper and her history turned into a book. The best - selling novel Child Soldier is an unique evidence and an insistent appeal to ostracize the deployment of child soldiers. There are at least 300.000 children world wide involved in battle encounters, 120.000 in Africa only. Keitetsi is the first child soldier to have published her life story. By her courage to break silence Keitetsi makes herself lawyer of all children traumatic and deprived of their rights.
Keitetsi gives lectures on the problematic nature of children - soldiers in all of Europe, USA, Canada and Japan; she spoke to the United Nations, the UNESCO, to the German Parliament. In her matter of concern Keitetsi is supported by many organisations such as UNICEF, amnesty international, terre des hommes, Oxfam, Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, IANSA.
In 2004 Keitetsi with the charitable status of an organization founds Hilfe für ehemalige Kindersoldaten und afrikanische Kriegsopfer e. V. (Help for former child soldiers and African war victims e.V.). With the donations she first of all intends to build up a centre for the "reintegration of former child soldiers" in Kigali, Rwanda.
In 2005 Keitetsi was two times invited by the University of Connecticut, USA, UNESCO Chair & Institute of Comparative Human Rights, for lectures. Her award for this was a "Certificate of Appreciation for dedication and commitment to translating the ideals of human rights into practical reality: Ambassador For Human Rights".
Keitetsi is ambassador of Missio Munich action Volltreffer ("bulls eye") at the occasion of the foot-ball world championship 2006: Goals will be shot, not human being.