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


My Struggle in The War
by Tejan, Freetown, Sierra Leone

From the past years the war in Sierra Leone has been escalating for reasons unknown. This war has caused a lot of atrocities, which is against human rights. The killing of innocent people, chopping the limbs, raping, to name but a few. The war has destabilized the educational sector wherein we the future generation coming up have no basic education.

My ordeals I have gone through in the war are a sad and pathetic one that I will ever remain to recollect during the course of my existence in the world. After taking an intensive examination, I decided to go for a holiday to my Mom, just five hours journey. When I arrived home the following morning just after a prayer I heard sporadic shooting all over the town with heavy bombardment.

We decided to leave the town with my family when the shooting had worsened .We took our belongings on our heads and worked till the place was getting dark.

We decided to rest in the nearby bush. My younger brother could not withstand the hunger. I told my Mum that I am going in search of food. On my way going just sixty meters away from our hiding, I was halt by heavily armed men. They asked me what is my mission, and I told them I was searching for food and that my family was starving of hunger.

Suddenly a tall huge rabble called 'The Killer' came in front of me and said 'either I join them to fight or else I die.' In the light of these two options, I don't want to be reluctant so I decided to join them to fight for me not to die. I was sent to the camp to train where I met with many children from 6 to 15 years respectively under intensive training. I attempted to escape at night but I was captured and tortured severely. I became hopeless for two days without doing anything.

The following day I was giving an escort to accompany me to fetch water for them. It was in that process that I saw a footpath just after you cross the stream. I used that part to escape unknown to the rebel for about ten minutes. Sooner he realized I had gone it was too late. He started shooting in the bush.

I traveled for the rest of the night without knowing where I was heading for. The rain was pouring on me as if the sky had burst. All what was on me became wet and I started feeling fever. I took two days in the bush without food, looking for the whereabouts of my relatives. When finally I found them, I met my younger brother had died of malnutrition. My mom was also seriously sick and she could not do anything. I took another month in the bush with my mum, feeding on bush yams and other edible vegetables. One day a fighting broke out between the rebels themselves for an unequal share of looted properties. When the other group felt cheated by the other the fighting intensified. My mum urged me to leave immediately as she could not go anywhere. I tried to save my mum from where she lay, but I was unable because the shooting was tense. Sooner I was leaving the place I was captured again. This time they put a heavy load on my head to carry for them. We walked a long distance and if I wanted to rest they will beat and force me to move. Even when I fell down with the load pretending to be unconscious they heated a stick on my head. Then they started dropping the warm water coming from the lighted candle on my body. What saved me from death was when they received a communication from their colleagues that they should report immediately. When they had gone, I managed to move from that location I was finally rescued by two passers-by where they helped me to be admitted at the hospital.


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