The Child Soldier: Our Writing
Giving Voice to Youth Affected by War


The Behaviour of Child Combatant
by Desmond Lebbie Age 18 of the Government Model Secondary School.
Freetown, Sierra Leoene

First, to start with child combatant is the act of inaugurating young
children into arm conflict. This has now become very common in most war
effected countries . The case of this has brought up different stories about
combating in my environment. Here is a story about a young boy in Sierra
Leone at the age of 8yrs. He was arrested, and taking to the jungle,
until he was 20yrs old.

Our story begins with a corrupted and instable system of
political set up, wherein the natural well being of the nation was
at stake and living was a privilege to only few people. Because of
this, even education was now seen as privilege and not a right to
children. This resulted into the formation of many fractions and some
dropped out of the country. Because their were no jobs facility and
no more support for them to continue schooling. This arose alarm
in the mind of few so called 'conscious citizens'. In the meantime, there
was reported armed robbery in the country and this caused serious problems

As all this was happening with the downward political status, the
youths were then finding ways to solve their problems as they were
now tired of sitting in ghettos. Some of these youths who were in schools
and colleges wrote to the Government appealing for reduction in
school fees but the Government deed nothing to help. The next thing
they did was to write outside country for help. When this help was
delivered it was not given to the youth directly but to the
children of ministers and stake holders in Government. As a result of
this the youth elders who were in combat decided they will be masters
of their own progress and this struggle began in the south - east
part of the country. Yet the elders who

However, as all this was carrying on with this political wind of the
country, Mama Kadiatu and Pa Allimamy were living in a village with
their one and only son Abu the problem also but him as both parent
were not in place to send Abu to school, but never the less he was
living happily with his people

Moreover, it came up to a time wherein the human standard of living
went behind expectation and below control as a result of this
revolution the youth became frustrated and were mislead by greedy
politicians. Among these children was Abu at age of 8yrs. He was taken from
his parents into the jungle he was given drugs and ammunition to carry
on his devilish work. As he thought his life was happy over every thing
that was going on with him in the jungle he said to himself "I am happy
to live in the bush other than living in a town... here I have got tape,
radio, television, women and with the help of my gun, today I am even
richer than my parents. Men are made to die"

Finally, we are introduce to his maturity stage wherein he became
conscious of what he was doing. This happened to him when , he one
day it happened that he was watching his television set and saw a
programme of youth in universities and in higher places of the society
and state. He thought about his life and cried saying; "This is not
life! If I have known before I should not partake in this but here I
am living in the bush like an animal. My master the rebel leader is in
one of the best hotels in the world. what am I really finding in the
bush, I don't know!" he started thinking of his mother 'Mama Kadiatu'
praying and asking God when shall he see him again. Fortunately for him
the UNAMSIL (United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone), came and they
started disarming; he was among the first group to disarm and led skilled
work as a carpenter and later a motor mechanic. He then changed life for
the better and settled home as he said. I am finally apologising to the
nation and promise to be a change young man.

Our Writing / Our Images / Our Voices / Feedback / Home


The History of The Child Soldier Project

A Telecollaborative Project Between iEARN-Canada and iEARN-Sierra Leone