Ishmael Beah, a child soldier from Sierra Leone, was resued from his life as an orphan who found his new family in the form of the commanders of his rebel army. Though he was forced to join initially, after witnessing the burned hut and the ashes that were the remains of his parents and two brothers, he soon found a type of structure to grab onto in this inhumane group of ruthless killers. He was subjected to drugs and brainwashing, never living a moment in this reality with a clear mind, until he was sent to the United States by the UN to tell his story before the nations. It was then that he caught the attention and, soon-after, the affection of his now adopted mother.
After college he wrote a best selling book about his experience as a child soldier. He also disspelled the myth of many Americans that life in Africa is nothing more than war and chaos by uncivilized people. Quite contrary to such a myth, Ishmael had a loving and fascinating childhood, surrounded by close relatives, including grandparents, who liberally shared their stories and wisdom with the mesmerized youth whose brains, like sponges, absorbed and remembered every detail.
He tells of his struggles with post-war trauma, detoxification from addicting drugs and the struggles of re-integrating into society. He offers valuable insight into the neccesary means by which struggling returnees can successfully rehabilitate and become self sustained in society.
It clearly demonstrates the importance of this mission we are on for the children, the culture, and the society of the future of Northern Uganda.
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