A long way gone was Ishmael beah's first book. It shows his experiences as a child solider in a never before known way. The book features a first person perspective with honesty that reveals what Ishmael and his friends faced during their ordeal. It has won several awards, and critical praise from critics. Though there was doubt about its "accuracy", Beah defended his account.
Ishmael Beah is also the founder of the NYPAW, or the Network of Young People Affected By War. He works along with Grace Akallo, Shena Gacu, Zlata Flipovic, Emmanuel Jal, and John Kon Kelei. They work together to improve living conditions of young people at war, and to stop the use of child soilders around the world.
In 2007, Ishmael Beah founded a foundation under his name. The goal of the foundation is to reintegrate the children of war into fully functional, successful people in society. A quote from the foundation's official website explains the Ishmael Beah foundations goals: "Approximately 300,000 children from around the world are recruited to fight in a war that they did not start. For those who have lived through the conflict, returning to normalcy is daunting and near impossible.The Ishmael Beah Foundation knows that the challenges do not end after the war. Children’s opportunities to assimilate back into society and live a thriving life are difficult and scarce. This is why we create and finance educational and vocational opportunities for children affected by war.We recognize their potential and the benefits of their success to society. By providing support to such children and youth, we aim to guide them to self-sufficiency so that they can carry on life as a productive members of their communities."
In conclusion, Ishmael Beah worked endlessly for the well being of others. He uses his horrible experiences as a child to help others into living better lives. He actively supports child soldiers around the world, and acts as a role model for children in search of hope.
"for me it’s just a way to give me more strength to continue doing what I’ve already embarked on, what I’ve dedicated my life to doing – which is to make sure that what happened to me doesn’t continue to happen to other children around the world.”
- Ishmael Beah
“Advocate for Children Affected by War.” UNICEF, 25 May 2012, www.unicef.org/people/people_47890.html. Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.
“Ishmael Beah.” Ishmael Beah, www.ishmaelbeah.com/. Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.
“NYPAW.” NYPAW, www.nypaw.org/
“A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah Official Site.” A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah Official Site, alongwaygone.com/.
“Ishmael Beah Foundation – What We Do.” Ishmael Beah Foundation, beta.beahfound.org/our-work/