Life as a Boy Soldier

Ishmael Beah, originally from Sierra Leone became a boy soldier after fleeing rebel attacks and wandering a country plunged into violence. Although a gentle boy, by the age of 13, having seen his family killed, he’d been picked by the government army to become another young killing machine capable of horrific acts. His book “A Long Way Gone - Memoirs of a Boy soldier” published in 2007, is the first personal account of someone who has lived though this hell and survived. In conflicts going on worldwide it is estimated there are some 300,000 child soldiers like Ishmael.

Now, Ishmael lives in New York City, where he has spoken several times at the United Nations, and is a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Advisory Committee. Here he talks candidly about his experiences, and how he emerged from his nightmare to make a transition back to normality. Length 15 mins.

Music by Tunde Jegede from the CD “Still Moment”