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Press Release: Program seeks Canadian Armed Forces Veterans committed to ending the use of child soldiers

For Immediate Release

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative and Wounded Warriors Canada opens call for Canadian Armed Forces Veterans for innovative program designed to eradicate the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

Halifax, NS — Today, the Wounded Warriors Canada Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers (VTECS) program opens its application call to bring together 15 Canadian Armed Forces veterans for a month long intensive residency in Halifax, NS during July 2017. Based at Dalhousie University, the program combines university level education with the Dallaire Initiative’s world-class training aimed at preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

“War has changed, therefore our tactics must too. By combining the necessity for skill sharing opportunities for Canadian Veterans with a widespread social and human rights issue like that of child soldiers, we are better poised to mobilize a global response to the issue of children being recruited and used as weapons of war,” states Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.

The aim of the VTECS program is to help Veterans reconstruct their military skills and experiences into community education and advocacy, championing the Dallaire Initiative’s vision of a world where children are no longer recruited or used as weapons of war. At the same time, by tapping into the experiences and expertise of successful applicants, the Dallaire Initiative is better able to cultivate approaches that are comprehensive, nimble and rooted in best practices while simultaneously being adaptive to localized context and circumstance on the issue of child soldiers.

Scott Maxwell, Executive Director of Wounded Warriors Canada, commented, “At Wounded Warriors Canada we continue to work with Veterans who find it difficult to apply their training and expertise in civilian life. The VTECS program is a force multiplier – leveraging the skills of our highly trained Veterans while also providing transition support; access to an academic environment; credits and potential employment opportunities. This, all the while working to address a critical security issue of our time: the use and recruitment of children as weapons of war. We are proud to fund this outstanding program and look forward to its continued success.”

Applications are now being accepted for the 2017 VTECS program. Interested Canadian Veterans can apply online between January 19, 2017 and February 12, 2017. The program is open to any Canadian Armed Forces Veteran with a good conduct release who can meet the program requirements. Program requirements and application are available online at childsoldiers.org/vtecs

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 For Press Inquires

Josh Boyter

Director of Communications, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

[email protected]

1 902 494 2392 (office)

1 902 489. 6767 (cell)

Scott Maxwell

Executive Director, Wounded Warriors Canada

[email protected]

289-388- 6181

About the Organizations

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

The Dallaire Initiative, based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, is recognized as the only organization in the world taking a prevention-oriented, security sector focused approach to the crime against humanity that is child soldiery. Founded by retired lieutenant-general and celebrated humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is a leader committed to ending the use and recruitment of child soldiers worldwide, through ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training.

Wounded Warriors Canada

Wounded Warriors Canada is a non-profit organization that supports Canada’s ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans, First Responders and their families. Through a wide range of national programs and services, Wounded Warriors is dedicated to providing programs focused on mental health and, particularly, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

About Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Recruitment and use of Child Soldiers (VTECS)

Wounded Warriors Canada VTECS is an innovative program designed to engage military veterans on the issue of child soldiers by combining university level education with world class training. As they reform their skills and experiences, Canadian Forces Veterans become community educators and advocates, championing the Dallaire Initiative’s vision of a world where children are no longer recruited or used as weapons of war.

Press Release: Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers

For Immediate Release

February 10th, 2016

Canadian Veterans Join the Fight Against Child Soldiers

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative and Wounded Warriors Canada launches the inaugural Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers (VTECS) program.

Toronto, ON—The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (Dallaire Initiative), is enlisting Canadian veterans in its global fight against child soldiers with the launch of the Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers (VTECS) program. Delivered with the support of Wounded Warriors Canada this program will build on the valuable knowledge, experience and insight Canadian veterans possess to deliver specialized training to prevent the use of child soldiers.

“They may have left the battlefield but Canadian veterans are a needed and valuable partner in addressing a critical security issue of our time, the use and recruitment of children as weapons of war. Through the VTECS program, we hope to build on their experience and expertise and encourage veterans to join me in my organization’s fight to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers” states LGen Roméo Dallaire, founder of the Dallaire Initiative.

Based out of the Dallaire Initiative’s institutional home at Dalhousie University, the VTECS program will equip Canadian veterans with specialized skills and knowledge to help deliver the Dallaire Initiative’s ground breaking work to prevent the use of child soldiers. Graduates of the VTECS program will help prepare their security sector peers for encounters with child soldiers and strengthen their ability to recognize and interrupt recruitment.

The VTECS program is made possible through a $175 000 investment by Wounded Warriors Canada towards its pilot year in 2016. Successful applicants will receive scholarships that cover cost of tuition, travel, along with room and board associated with the program.

Scott Maxwell, Executive Director of Wounded Warriors Canada, commented, “Through our national programming at Wounded Warriors Canada we continue to work with veterans who are struggling to transition their specialized skills to the civilian workspace. We believe the VTECS program will be a force multiplier – leveraging the skill set of our highly trained veterans while also providing skills transition training; access to an academic environment; credits/accreditation possibilities and potential employment opportunities.”

The inaugural call for applications will be open between February 10th and March 29th. Canadian veterans can submit an application or learn more about the program by visiting www.childsoldiers.org/vtecs.

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Media contacts:

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

Josh Boyter

[email protected]

1 902 494 2392 (office)

1 902 489. 6767 (cell)

Wounded Warriors Canada

Scott Maxwell

[email protected]

289-388-6181

About the organizations

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

The Dallaire Initiative, based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, is recognized as the only organization in the world that is taking a prevention-oriented, security sector focused approach to the crime against humanity that is child soldiery. Founded by retired lieutenant-general and celebrated humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is a global partnership committed to ending the use and recruitment of child soldiers worldwide, through ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training.

Wounded Warriors Canada

Wounded Warriors Canada is a non-profit organization that supports Canada’s ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans, First Responders and their families. Through a wide range of national programs and services, Wounded Warriors is dedicated to providing programs focused on mental health and, particularly, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Media Advisory: Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers

For Immediate Release

Media advisory

 

Canadian Veterans Join the Fight Against Child Soldiers

Toronto, Ontario, February, 8th – On February 10th, Wounded Warriors Canada will present LGen Roméo Dallaire and the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative with a $175 000 investment towards the pilot year of the Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers (VTECS) program. Held at the Royal Military Institute, remarks will be made by LGen Roméo Dallaire, Founder of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative and Scott Maxwell, Executive Director of Wounded Warriors Canada. Following the 11:00am cheque presentation, a joint press conference will be held.

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (Dallaire Initiative), is enlisting Canadian veterans in its global fight against child soldiers with the launch of the Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers (VTECS) program on February 10th. Delivered with the support of Wounded Warriors Canada, the programs, will build on the valuable knowledge, experience and insight Canadian veterans possess to deliver specialized training to prevent the use of child soldiers.

Based out of the Dallaire Initiative’s home, Dalhousie University, the VTECS program will equip Canadian veterans with specialized skills and knowledge to help deliver the Dallaire Initiative’s ground breaking work to prevent the use of child soldiers. Graduates of the VTECS program will help prepare their security sector peers for encounters with child soldiers and strengthen their ability to recognize and interrupt recruitment.

Location: The Royal Military Institute, 426 University Ave., Toronto, ON.

Date: February­­ 10th, 2015

Time: 11:00 am

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Media contacts:

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

Josh Boyter

[email protected]

1 902 494 2392 (office)

1 902 489. 6767 (cell)

Wounded Warriors Canada

Scott Maxwell

[email protected]

289-388-6181

 

About the organizations

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

The Dallaire Initiative, based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, is recognized as the only organization in the world that is taking a prevention-oriented, security sector focused approach to the crime against humanity that is child soldiery. Founded by retired lieutenant-general and celebrated humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is a global partnership committed to ending the use and recruitment of child soldiers worldwide, through ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training.

Wounded Warriors Canada

Wounded Warriors Canada is a non-profit organization that supports Canada’s ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans, First Responders and their families. Through a wide range of national programs and services, Wounded Warriors is dedicated to providing programs focused on mental health and, particularly, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

UNICEF and LGen Dallaire call for urgent action to protect children from becoming soldiers in South Sudan

Original Article Link

As many as 16,000 children in South Sudan have been used by armed forces and groups since the start of the conflict nearly two years ago

JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN, Nov. 12, 2015 /CNW/ – UNICEF together with the celebrated humanitarian, Lieutenant General Roméo Dallaire, and The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, today called for all sides in the South Sudan conflict to live up to their commitments and demobilize thousands of children who have been used by armed forces and groups since the outbreak of a brutal civil conflict nearly two years ago.

The new peace agreement signed in August calls for the immediate release of all children by both sides to the conflict. According to the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism, between 15,000 and 16,000 children have been used by armed forces and groups in South Sudan since the outbreak of fighting in December 2013. UNICEF is working with the Government, partners and different actors in the conflict to identify children who have been used by armed forces and groups and ensure that they are released and re-integrated into their communities and families.

UNICEF and the Dallaire Initiative said still more must be done to accelerate the release of children and to strengthen mechanisms to ensure that children are not used.

“We must learn from the mistakes of the past,” said LGen Dallaire, who commanded the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda in 1994 and authored the book Shake Hands with the Devil. “There has to be a sense of urgency to protect children in South Sudan from being used by armed forces and groups and to ensure that the thousands already serving are immediately released and have opportunities for a better future.”

LGen Dallaire, accompanied by Dr. Shelly Whitman of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, is in South Sudan for a five-day visit supported by UNICEF to help advocate for the end of recruitment and use of children as soldiers, while finding ways to support those who have been released and to prevent re-recruitment. In South Sudan they met with senior UN and Government officials, members of the international community and other partners and actors, so as to help strengthen commitments towards ensuring that children are released and protected from recruitment.

LGen Dallaire’s visit included a one-day trip to Pibor in the eastern part of the country to speak with some of the 1,755 children who have recently been brought out of the Cobra Faction with the support of UNICEF, the National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission and other partners.

“The children released from the Cobra Faction earlier this year in Pibor offer a glimmer of hope of what can be achieved when the will is there,” said Ettie Higgins, the Deputy Representative of UNICEF South Sudan. “Children should be in school, not on the battlefield.”

Hundreds of children in South Sudan have been killed or maimed, and thousands more have been used to fight and perpetrate violence against other children and civilians, or serve as cooks, cleaners or to carry heavy loads while on the move.

“Children are the priority and they need to be protected from joining armed forces and groups,” said Dr. Whitman, of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative. “We have a duty to humanity to do that.”

UNICEF and partners have provided the 1,755 children released in Pibor with mental and physical support and reunited them with their families. They have also received a care package of basic food items, a mosquito net and mats along with a goat or a sheep to help secure their livelihoods. Many have entered UNICEF-supported schools or received vocational training including in dairy and solar technology, fish processing, baking and leather tanning.

After retirement, LGen Dallaire founded The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative in 2007 with the mission to progressively end the use of child soldiers through a security sector approach. The Dallaire Initiative has helped shape the dialogue within public discourse to create momentum towards tangible solutions to prevent the use of child soldiers.

“It is important we keep children a top priority in South Sudan,” said Dallaire. “Their protection will help facilitate peace, create a climate of security, and to ensure South Sudan will succeed as a rich, viable nation state.”

About the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
Founded by retired lieutenant-general and celebrated humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is a global partnership committed to ending the use and recruitment of child soldiers worldwide, through ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training.

About UNICEF
UNICEF has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries – more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca. For updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook or visit unicef.ca.

SOURCE UNICEF Canada

For further information: To arrange interviews please contact: Tiffany Baggetta, UNICEF Canada, 416-482-6552 ext. 8892, 647-308-4806 (mobile), [email protected]; Josh Boyter, Communications Specialist, The Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, Tel: 1 902 494 2392, [email protected]

RELATED LINKS
http://www.unicef.ca

LGen Roméo Dallaire and Stephen Lewis to Discuss the Use of Sexual Violence and Child Soldiers as Weapons of War

Original Article Link

HALIFAX, Sept. 24, 2015 /CNW/ – Two of Canada’s leading humanitarians—Stephen Lewis and retired lieutenant-general Roméo Dallaire—will take the stage this evening at Dalhousie University to discuss the use of sexual violence and child soldiers and their work to bring an end to the use of these weapons of war.

More than 15 million children—three times the number of children in Canada—live under constant threat of conflict. Many will become direct casualties of these modern weapons of war that continue to define contemporary warfare.

Today, conflicts are raging across the globe. Each of these conflicts has two things in common, the widespread use of sexual violence and child soldiers. Used systematically and deliberately, these two weapons have inflicted unimaginable damage to communities, regions and whole counties.

“While sexual violence and child soldiers share an unfortunate prevalence in conflicts historically, the scale and systematic nature of their use in modern conflicts are creating long-lasting universal repercussions. We only need to look as far as Syria or the continuing violence that has engulfed South Sudan,” states Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.

This evening’s presentation will raise funds for the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, based at Dalhousie University.  During the event, The Intact Foundation will also officially present its $300,000 contribution to establish the Intact/Dallaire Initiative Senior Fellow. LGen Roméo Dallaire (Ret’d), founder of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, will serve as the inaugural Intact/Dallaire Initiative Senior Fellow.

The contribution will go toward providing ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training to bring an end to the use of children as weapons of war worldwide.

“The work that the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is doing will go a long way toward preventing and interrupting the recruitment of youths for unlawful activities,” says Charles Brindamour, Chief Executive Officer, Intact Financial Corporation. “We are very proud to be able to support LGen Dallaire’s meaningful cause.”

“We are in this fight against these two weapons of war for the long-term. With the Intact Foundation’s incredibly generous investment in our work, we have critical long term support to create the knowledge, tactics and political will to ultimately end the use of children as weapons of war,” states LGen Roméo Dallaire (Ret’d).

Event details:

Name of event:  Weapons of War: Sexual Violence and Child Soldiers, sponsored by Intact Insurance Company

Date: Thursday, September 24, 2015

Time: 8 p.m.

Venue:  Rebecca Cohn Arts Centre at Dalhousie University.

About the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
Founded by retired lieutenant-general and celebrated humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is a global partnership committed to ending the use and recruitment of child soldiers worldwide, through ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training.

SOURCE Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

Image with caption: “From left to right: Intact Financial Corporation’s CEO Charles Brindamour with LGeneral Roméo Dallaire (Ret’d), founder of The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative and Stephen Lewis, co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World at the Weapons of War: Sexual Violence and Child Soldiers event at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS, Thursday, September 24, 2015. The Intact Foundation is contributing $300,000 to establish the Intact/Dallaire Initiative Senior Fellow. The Canadian Press Images PHOTO/The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (CNW Group/Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150924_C5967_PHOTO_EN_506583.jpg

For further information: Media Contact, Josh Boyter, Communications Officer, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, Telephone: (902)-494-2392 (office), Email: [email protected]