This program is re-integrating former child soldiers in Liberia back to society. After the war many child soldiers moved into ghettos where they still live under extremely difficult conditions. These former child soldiers depend on violence, crime and drugs to survive. We are building a reintegration centre and provide trauma counselling, medical care, education and social enterprising ventures for employment. Due to the Ebola outbreak we now also address its prevention.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Young children were caught by rebels during the Liberian civil war to be child soldiers. They were faced with extreme cruelty. After the war, the international community failed with re-integrating the children with their families and back to society. Many former child soldiers (FCS) now live in ghettos under very difficult conditions, with women the most vulnerable. These FCS now depend on violence, crime and drugs for survival and are still rejected by both family and the society as a whole.
How will this project solve this problem?
IDEFOCS (local partner) and Action10 are running a program to offer the change of life these former child soldiers dream of. We are working inside the ghettos and have designed a rescue plan together with the FCSs. They say they need a home outside the ghetto, where they can live while going through trauma and medical treatment and finding employment and family support. Thus, we have bought farmland in a nice fishing village outside the ghetto region and are constructing a re-integration home.
Potential Long Term Impact
This is a pilot project that addresses 60 already identified former child soldiers and women. As soon as this pilot project is implemented, we will roll it out to potentially 540 more people. Thereafter we continue the scaling up. The center, when constructed can take 20 persons at a time and we assume each support program will last for three months. Our program is innovative and early results are encouraging for our partners living in the ghetto.