A Long Way Gone

By Grace Allen and Presley Schroeder

Diamonds are a natural resource mined in Sierra Leone and coveted by Americans.
Sierra Leone's government is a republic with a president. It is much like the United States government.

This is RUF.

RUF was a Revolutionary United Front (a rebel army) that fought a war from 1991-2002 but failed. Later in 2007, it became a political party.

This is another photo of RUF. This is the symbol they use.
The Civil War in Sierra Leone started when the RUF attempted to attack the governments military. After that everything became chaos. Their were many acts of violence and children were taken and forced to fight. The Civil War fame to an end when a new president was elected in 2002.

RUF abducted children from homes and villages and made them fight on their side. They make kids work by threatening their lives and giving them false hope of a future.

Children are being exploited for military purposes in many other places like Burma, Afghanistan, and Sudan.




Governments are also trying to help stop the problem of children being exploited. The U.S. and other governments are giving money as assistance and now a lot of Sierra Leoneans live freely in the U.S.

To help in trying to stop military exploitation, many organizations have been created. There is Human Rights Reports, Amnesty International, and Derechos Human Rights.

The U.N. has tried to help Sierra Leone and military exploitation by protesting armed conflict involving children.

This is Ishmael Beah now at 36 years old.

He moved to the U.S. in 1998 to finish high school and went to college at Oberlin. He now lives in the United States and here is where he published his book.

The style of writing that Ishmael Beah uses is very different. He didn't think about how to write the book he just typed everything out as it came to mind.

Ishmael Beah heard Hip Hop music as a kid and became interested because it was black people that looked like him but they were speaking English. He was very fascinated with English so this of course interested him.

From these videos, I learned a lot more about military exploitation and how it's trying to be prevented today. I think a lot more of the world still needs to be introduced to it though.

Ishmael Beah says that the reality of war is that each side of the war is equally as bad as the other. They both capture children, they both steal food and water and shelter, and they both commit crimes that can never be forgiven.

This video is about how all of this is still happening today and how Ishmael Beah was lucky enough to get out of this situation.


Created with images by SEDACMaps - "Sierra Leone: Input Administrative Boundaries" • US Army Africa - "Africa Endeavor 2010" • DFID - UK Department for International Development - "Now I want to be a doctor - Celina Kamanda, Ebola survivor in Freetown, Sierra Leone" • Piano Piano! - "Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's Delight Long & Short Version 7inch Single" • BigMikeSndTech - "IMG_0181"

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