15 Feb 2005 13:40 GMT
(Indypendent stff writer Neela Ghoshal writes in the latest issue): GULU, Uganda—At night fierce winds batter the graying tarp of the UNICEF tent at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Center in Gulu. Fifty teenage girls huddle in stiff wool blankets on the floor, undisturbed by the 6 a.m. call to prayer from a nearby mosque, and the pounding of soldiers’ boots from calisthenics. At seven, they slowly roll from their makeshift beds, fold their blankets and trickle outside, joining hundreds of boys and girls pouring out from identical shelters. Shivering in thin dresses and T-shirts, they begin the long journeys back home to their villages.