Exile International
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3534 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 37205
Organization Details



Children as young as 7 are kidnapped and forced to fight in rebel armies. Psychologically tortured and brainwashed - children are enslaved, forced to fight and to kill.

Many are forced to participate in violence against their own families and communities. Still more are abducted and abused, becoming victims of rape and sexual violence.

Those fortunate enough to escape or be released are left with deep and enduring emotional scars from what they've seen and been forced to do. Many are unable to return home because they have either lost or been rejected by their families.

Exile International exists to empower rescued child soldiers and children orphaned by war to be leaders for peace through art-focused trauma care and holistic rehabilitation.


Exile International was founded in 2008 by counseling psychologist, Bethany Haley Williams, Ph.D, in response to the need for rehabilitative care programs serving war-affected children. Research in DRC & Uganda led to the development of Exile's approach - utilizing art focused trauma care & rehabilitative care to restore rescued child soldiers & war-affected children. Exile's programs go beyond rehabilitation - equipping & empowering children of war to become leaders for peace in their communities. Since founded in 2008, Exile has provided care to over 6,700 children & trained over 200 caregivers, counselors & leaders - all nationals of the countries they serve. These caregivers currently serve 2,587+ war-affected children & orphans.

Trauma Care & Art Therapy: Influenced by the practical experience of local caregivers, their cultural insights & existing rehabilitative care models led to the creation of Exile's care program utilizing art & expressive therapies. Art & expression are empowering mediums for children - providing avenues to process emotions or experiences they do not have the words to share. Rehabilitative care centers utilizing art, music, dance & drama provide children with avenues to share their stories. For many, these expressions become the first steps on a path of healing and discovering hope. Communicating their stories with caregivers, mentors & other children helps rebuild a sense of normalcy - the idea that "I can be understood" - once lost to extreme physical & emotional traumas.

Child Sponsorships provide food, education, healthcare, trauma counseling, leadership development & discipleship. Many formerly abducted children do not have a home or family to return to - a community to grow and launch them. Sponsorships keep children off the streets and empower them to create a brighter future for themselves.

Advocacy & Awareness: EI is dedicated to amplifying their voices & committed to raising awareness for war-affected children & those oppressed in Africa. Exile In'l is committed to partnering with local counselors and leaders to implement culturally appropriate art-focused trauma care & care practices. Many men & women are already serving & looking for more ways to strengthen their communities. Trainings in trauma therapy/rehabilitative care models further empower them to do just that - equipping local leaders to restore & bring hope to war-affected children in their own communities.


78% decrease in post-traumatic stress and emotional wounded-ness after 24 months of program involvement - measured by pre- and post-testing

98% of beneficiaries in Exile Int'l education sponsorship programs complete primary school (compared with national averages: Uganda, 24.8%; DR Congo, 54.5%)

95% of beneficiaries in Exile Int'l education sponsorship programs complete their educational journey by attending secondary school and/or professional training programs (compare with national averages: Uganda, 17.5% net secondary school attendance; DR Congo, 31.7% net secondary school attendance; graduation stats unavailable for either country)

Program graduates include university students, skilled professionals, community, and church leaders? some now leading care programs in their own communities.

Direct benefit: thousands of child survivors of war not only surviving but thriving. Child survivors are empowered to be peacemakers and leaders that influence communities and countries.

Indirect benefit: countless communities impacted and transformed. Exile currently serves 2,587+ war-affected children (a number that has grown each year). By empowering a generation of youth with biblical principles of peacemaking and leadership, we believe the cycles of corruption and violence can be changed - transforming communities through the power of the Gospel.


Need: Restoration for 204 rescued child soldiers and children orphaned by war

Opportunity: 48 hours of generosity and matched donations to raise $100,000

Impact: 204 lives forever changed through art-focused trauma care and holistic rehabilitation

CEO Statement

From the start, we dreamed of programs to restore former child soldiers and children orphaned by war. We dreamed of holistic programs that went beyond basic rehabilitation? programs that empowered child survivors to succeed and become leaders in their communities. We praise God to see this dream come true. Exile International is privileged to provide trauma healing through art focused trauma care and rehabilitative care, peace building/conflict resolution and leadership development. By training and teaming with local leaders, we are pleased to celebrate providing rehabilitative care services to over 3,000 children in 4 countries. 825 of these children participate in weekly art focused trauma care and rehabilitative care programs. Additionally, Exile International's longterm care centers (Goma, DR Congo & Lira, Uganda) are providing shelter, food, water, medical care, education and spiritual guidance to 250 children. It is both humbling and exciting to see restored, empowered rescued child soldiers returning to their communities to succeed and positively influence others. Graduates are serving their communities, attending university, starting businesses and launching their own "Peace Clubs" where they teach peers and community members about peace, reconciliation and forgiveness. We are thankful to God for making all this possible and we are committed to following Christ's example of love and service. His example motivates and inspires our team's core values - serving with faith, integrity, compassion and stewardship. We are also thankful for your commitment to walking alongside us. Thank you for partnering with us to make Exile International's mission possible. Donor partners and supporters are an integral part of our team - resourcing the restoration and empowerment of children. Thank you for choosing to partner with Exile International to give healing and hope.

Service Categories

Primary Category: Mental Health & Crisis Intervention  - Counseling 
Secondary Category: Youth Development  - Alliances & Advocacy 
Tertiary Category: Mental Health & Crisis Intervention  - Mental Health & Crisis Intervention NEC 

Areas Served

Lira and Gulu Districts of northern Uganda.Goma City and North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).