In some countries children are recruited by armed groups, to fight as soldiers. Army chiefs like to recruit children because they are small, easy to frighten, require less food than adult soldiers and are less likely to rebel. Many children have no choice about becoming a soldier. This is because they are rounded up and forced to fight, or even abducted from school or home. Others join because they are so poor, and this seems the only way to get food and to survive. Some join because they think the group is fighting for something they believe in – like the freedom of their country.
Imagine you have been abducted by an armed group to fight as a child soldier. Consider the feelings you would be experiencing – about the family and friends you have left behind, and what the future holds for you. Discuss your possible feelings as a group, and then ask the group to individually write a poem expressing these feelings. Try to encourage the group to really concentrate and focus their minds. When the poems are ready, allow individuals time to share with the rest of the group.
Circletime Discussion Points:
- What does it feel like to know children in other parts of the world have to deal with these issues every day?
- What can we do?