The spoils of war

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By Teresa Saunderseducation journalist and children’s writer

Read Junior’s story to help children understand how war can impact on children’s lives

“My name is Junior and I live in Liberia in Africa. When I was seven years old, war came to our town. Rebel soldiers took away our food and clothes and I was left barefoot. They tied up my sister’s husband and beat him. I was very scared. Then, they took me away and made me join them.

I was taken to a rebel base and trained for a year to fight. I was jailed, beaten many times and taught how to use guns. We looted and harassed people and took part in many battles. Soon I began to enjoy being a soldier. It made me appear big and brave. But I was always afraid of the sight of a dead man.

I have now left the army and I am being helped to live a normal life again. I am going to school and I am being taught how to get on with people using discussion rather than violence.

Being a soldier was very hard. I feel sad because after I became a soldier, I never saw my sister or any other relatives again. I have no family now. I am alone.”

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