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2008.05.06

* Former child soldier urges young Jamaicans to avoid violence
* 시간: 2분 27초
* 30 Apr 2008

You’re watching UNICEF television
Violence is a fact of life for too many Jamaican children … and a big part of the mission of the Bashy Bus Kru is to inspire a new way of thinking … using theatre, dance and song.

Ishmael Beah, who is the UNICEF Advocate for children Affected by Conflict, experienced violence as a child … when he was forced to fight in Sierra Leone’s civil war.

His message to Jamaican young people was simple --- there is a way out.

SOT: Ishmael Beah / UNICEF Advocate for Children Affected by Conflict
“That conflicts affect children no matter where they are is something I’m passionate about. My being here is to make sure people are looking at it and also to inspire to the people to know that is possible to transform what their life is.”

SOT: David / Student, Children First
“There are many young men that think war is a playground. But they are showing us that war is nothing that you should be playing with. And you can make a change in there life and I believe that if there are more men like him out there Jamaica would be a better place, and the world.”

Official figures show that 87 per cent of children aged two to fourteen have experienced physical or psychological punishment. Less than thirty per cent of children think their neighbourhood is safe.

Ishmael Beah met several community groups who are working to ease the tension that blights the life of Jamaica’s young people.

SOT: Sonia Whyte, Administrator, Trenchtown Peace Center
“We have to know that it’s not only the victims that are hurting but also the offenders as well. We’re trying to capture the whole mix. If we help the offenders then we will have less offenders therefore we will have no more victims.”

Chatting with young men who live in some of the most violence-prone communities in Kingston, Ishmael talked about his time as a child soldier.

And in Trenchtown, the home of Bob Marley, he took some time out to play soccer.

His visit brought attention to the ongoing problem of violence In Jamaica and emphasized the need to protect children affected every form of conflict.

This is Melissa Leschuck reporting for UNICEF television. Unite for Children.



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