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Child Soldiers: Can Healing be Achieved | Documentary Idea

by Terry Leary
(Granada, Nicaragua)

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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Mar 22, 2016
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connections with the story
by: Desktop Documentaries

Hi Terry,
Thanks for sharing your idea. What has sparked your interest in this topic? Do you have special ties to Sierra Leone? Any contacts there or with child soldiers?

Mar 22, 2016
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Children Soldiers
by: Terry

I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone, then I opened the USAID office during the war. We started a program of conflict resolution for the community and the children combatants. I went back to Sierra Leone in 2014 and everyone was talking about the program and how it led to healing for everyone involved. The program was education with a focus on PTSD.

In 2014 I wanted to do this documentary but Ebola broke out, so I will be doing the trailer starting in April. I believe it will have a hopeful message and be a path to conflict resolution.

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