Child Soldiers: Can Healing be Achieved | Documentary Idea
by Terry Leary
During the brutal war in Sierra Leone children soldiers were used on all sides of the conflict. What happened to these young combatants?
Many of them lived by the gun, in the bush for 10 years, never knowing family life after age 6.
What about the communities these youth tortured. Is healing and forgiveness possible for both sides?
The war has been over for 15 years. The Lome Peace Accord was the first time that Children Soldiers were mentioned in a Peace Accord, and it stated they would be treated differently than regular combatants.
A program was started for the community and youth combatants, it was an education program but had so much more, it dealt with the deeper issues of what happened, how people got caught up in war, what happened afterwards and did genuine healing take place.
So where are we 15 years down the road, peace has settled on Sierra Leone?
The former combatants are now are in their 30's, what kind of life do they have? Are they integrated into the communities, have the communities forgiven and healed?
I believe that now is the time to see what methods work in conflict resolution, this could be one way of looking at the problem. Unfortunately we are experiencing an increase in the use of children soldiers, how can we help?
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