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.
Tell the children that in some countries, children who are not forced to fight can still be caught up in war, even after the fighting is over. Give the children some background facts on landmines and how they affect children.
Then split the children into pairs and lay out a ‘minefield’ using the plates as mines. One child is blindfolded and the other has to guide them through the minefield using only their voice. If you step on a plate, you have been hit by a mine. Once the child gets through the minefield, they swap the blindfold and roles for the trip back through the minefield.
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?