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Ishmael Beah, former Child Soldier supports Education in post-war Sierra Leone
Jun 16, 2009, 17:28
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Former child soldier, Ishmael Beah, author of A Long Way Gone; Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, has built a school for three vulnerable rutile mining affected communities in Impere chiefdom, Bonthe District, Southern Sierra Leone.

Ishmael Beah1

Ishmael Beah was among thousands of children recruited to fight in the brutal Sierra Leonean war. He went through psychosocial rehabilitation at Benin Home which was administered by the Children Associated with the War (CAW) Programme.

New and Old Schools Structures

Born in Sierra Leone in 1980, Ishmael moved to the United States in 1998 and finished his last two years of High School at the United Nations International School in New York. He graduated from Oberlin College in 2004. He is a member of the Human Rights Watch Childrens Rights Division Advisory Committee and has spoken before the Council on Foreign Relations, the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities (CETO) at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, and many other NGO panels on children affected by war. He has spoken before the United Nations on several occasions. He is currently a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, advocating for children affected by war globally.

Ishmael Beah funded the project through Schools for Salone, USA, Masanga Children Childrens Fund and the Community Advocacy and Development Movement (CADEM), to build a school for three vulnerable rutile mining affected communities including Junctionla, Lungi and Gangama in Impere Chiefdom, Bonthe District. Ishmael Beah funded this project on the belief that "Learning is a Journey to discover ones mind as a human being".

Before the realization of this project, children of the three affected mining communities were schooled in a makeshift structure, making the classroom situation very deplorable for them. The new school and facilities has however brought smiles on the faces of the beneficiary school pupils, teachers and community people. Ishmael Beah is shining example for young Sierra Leoneans to emulate. He has plans to give scholarships to deserving students in Sierra Leone next academic year. Beah is also one of the pioneers of the Books for Africa USA project which is working to bring about sixteen 40-feet containers of books for tertiary institutions and secondary schools in all four regions in Sierra Leone. He visited Sierra Leone twice last year. Beah loves Sierra Leone and has plans to further assist young people in diverse ways. Ishmael is a philanthropist.

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