On July 13, 2016 I attended an event that I believe will change my whole life.
I attended an information session for the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldier Initiative.
Two experts in this field Dr. Shelly Whitman and Nikita Malik from the Quilliam Foundation, spoke about the trauma that child soldiers face: abduction at a young age, physical, emotional and sexual abuse to program them into good compliant soldiers, indoctrinated with Islamic State dogma.
The Middle east had become one of the worst places for this as the Islamic State is attempting to form themselves into a nation. They are abducting children from families, recruiting children, and recruiting young women to breed soldiers to make an army of child soldiers.
They take a planned systematic approach to convert innocent children into compliant, obedient and well indoctrinated on the virtues of the Islamic State. These children are conditioned to see warfare as normal. This conditioning they endure causes severe psychological damage for many.
These children are put in combat situations because of the tactical advantage. Police officers and soldiers are reluctant to attack a troop of children.
Enter general Dallaire and his organization with a plan. Techniques are being developed to neutralize and disarm
Combat veterans are being trained to go out to the field and teach troops to use these techniques. Troops of child soldiers will be captured, rescued and rehabilitated. The men who sent them out to fight will have lost the tactical advantage and the weapons and gear they invested in. What was a tactical advantage becomes a disadvantage.
In the last minutes of this presentation, General Romeo Dallaire himself stepped up to speak passionately about the horrors of the child soldier practice. This man resigned his seat in the Canadian Senate so that he could focus on his foundation full-time. I admire this man because he cares so deeply about humans, especially the most vulnerable. He presented a copy of his recent book: They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children. The title alone brings tears to my eyes.
I am interested in using my teaching skills to do something to restore these children programmed for war into peaceful people. It is my conviction that each of these children, made in God’s image have multiple talents that can be developed. These children can become people who contribute to a peaceful and prosperous society.
I am excited about how I can contribute to this organization. Their goals fit in with what I am most passionate about, the development of children, peace and great human achievement. I hope that I can apply my talents to serve Romeo Dallaire Child Soldier Initiative sometime in the near future. This work would be beneficial to my personal peace because when I work at something meaningful, I am most at peace.