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공지사항

과거 소년병의 집으로 가는 길

2007.10.24

* Showing the way home to a former child soldier
* 14 Feb 2007

Fifteen year old “Simon” tends garden in the camp in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo where he has lived for six months.

Before that, he was a soldier … forced to fight in the country’s relentless civil war, along with thousands of other innocent children.

He says he was a sergeant … protecting his chief. And that he relieved front line fighters when the battle got rough.
Asked if he was afraid, he says “yes of course, like all mankind.” Asked if he wanted to flee, he says “If you run, they can kill you. You have to endure.”

Simon ran twice. The second time he was successful in reaching this transit center. The UNICEF supported Cajed camp in Goma gave him food and shelter, lessons to make up for his missed education and vocational training to give him skills he can use in peacetime.

Most importantly, it gave back to him the simple life he knew before his abduction. This is Simon’s last day here … before returning to the village where his family await his return Of course I will miss my friends. But all I really need now – is to see my parents.

The last leg of Simon’s journey is the four hour drive home … a trip back in time, but also to a new future.

It’s reunions like this one that programs like Cajed aim to make easier … and more common.

For his parents, Simon has brought tomato and cabbage seeds, from the gardens at the Cajed center. For the mentors who have sent him here, Simon says he has nothing to give. “Only God will bless them,” he says. “I am really very grateful.”

 

 

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