Tag Archives: Sierra Leone

Alumni Update: Ishmeal Alfred Charles (IDHA 40)

Ishmeal Alfred CharlesIshmeal Alfred Charles (IDHA 40) of the Healey International Relief Foundation (HIRF) shares his insight about the situation in Sierra Leone now that the crisis has been managed and no new cases exist.

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Conflict Affected Youth: Education and Paths to Peace

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In last week’s well-attended lecture sponsored by Fordham University’s Department of Political Science, the FCRH Dean’s Office, and the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA), Kabba Williams, a former child soldier from Sierra Leone, addressed students, faculty, and guests of Fordham University.  A passionate and engaging individual, Kabba described his journey from child soldier to education advocate, noting the personal challenges of reintegrating back into society and the vital importance of education in the lives of former child soldiers and other conflict-affected youth. In a statement that reveals both personal strength and the transformative role of education, Kabba told the audience,  “Despite all the obstacles, I was determined to be educated because I knew the power of education. It is the best legacy you can ever attain in this world. No one can take it from you.”

One of the youngest child soldiers rescued during the Sierra Leone civil war, Kabba has served as an advocate for education and reintegration of ex-combatant youth for Amnesty International and the United Nations. A recent graduate of Njala University, he is currently writing a memoir of his experiences.

Read more about his keynote address here.

Interested in learning more about the life-saving role of education in humanitarian crises and conflict situations? Take the IIHA Education in Emergencies course this October!

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