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Northwest Speaker Series: Child Soldiers

March 11, 2015

The Northwest Region hosted Dr. Susan Bissell, Chief of Child Protection, at the Winter Speaker Series on January 27th at The Battery. The Speaker Series educates the civic and philanthropic community on various areas of UNICEF’s work. Each event focuses on a different topic with a presentation and discussion led by a UNICEF staff member, who’s an expert in the field.

This Speaker Series topic was quite timely because it took place on the same day that UNICEF announced the release of 3,000 child soldiers in South Sudan - one of the largest ever demobilizations of children. Dr. Bissell discussed UNICEF’s work in South Sudan and touched on the many challenges UNICEF staff members face in the field. UNICEF, along with partners, works to support the release and reunification of children with their families, as well as the longer term reintegration of children into their communities. Since many children have been with the group for a few years and were recruited at a young age, it takes time for them to adjust. To assist with this phase, UNICEF and partners will provide a range of services: medical care, psychosocial support, life-skills training, peer-to-peer support, and recreational training. Dr. Bissell captivated the audience with her knowledge and expertise, as well as telling touching personal stories from the field.

Our Spring Speaker Series will take place on May 4th, 2015 at The Battery. For more information, please contact Shirmila Cooray at scooray@unicefusa.org.