Rosie Breen is a Global Citizenship Fellow at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier from Sierra Leone and the author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, has a remarkable story to tell. I first heard him speak on a webcast. With incredible honesty and authenticity, he revealed the emotional details of his experience as a child soldier during the civil unrest in Sierra Leone.
As a child, Ishmael Beah was vulnerable to the persuasiveness of the armies, but re-entering civil society was a challenge—he found it difficult to trust adults and had to recover from forced drug-use. He often speaks of his initial resistance to aid from UNICEF and other NGOs, and explains how it was compassion from volunteers and the power of music that helped restore the sense of normalcy he knew prior to forced combat. It is truly moving to hear Ishmael Beah speak not only about his experiences as a child soldier, but also about his ability to move forward. Today, he is a UNICEF Advocate for Children Affected by War. I invite you to hear Ishmael Beah’s powerful message.
Event information: May 10, World Affairs Council, San Francisco. Reception begins at 6:00 pm, followed by a discussion with Ishmael Beah at 7:00 pm. Cost $5 for students and $15 for general admission. To register, please visit www.itsyourworld.org.