March 20, 2006

Lettre a un jeune soldat / Letter to a young soldier

Child soldier, Liberia (1997) -
WCC (Francais)
WCC (English)
«Les enfants sont notre avenir. Accepter que des enfants soldats participent à des conflits armés, c’est accepter la destruction de notre avenir, un enfant après l’autre.»

Kofi Annan, Session extraordinaire de l’ONU consacrée aux enfants, mai 2002

Ton corps est un temple, garde le. Ne laisse pas l'ombre du mal t'approcher.
Un fusil est une arme. C'est un objet mature pour une main mature. Si ton index ne trouve pas la gachette, laisse le.

Your body is a temple, keep it. Do not let the shadow of evil near you.
A gun is a weapon. It is a mature object meant for a mature hand. If you index cannot find the trigger, leave it.

Pense a ta mere si tu vois une femme.
Pense a ton pere si tu vois un homme.
Si tu vois des enfants, pense a tes freres et soeurs.

If you see a woman, think of your mother.
If you see a man, think of your father.
Think of your brothers and sisters when you see children.

Ton ame est un tresor. Toi seul en est le gardien. Toi seul peut la garder.
Ton esprit est un lieu de songes et de beaute. Interdit-toi la violence.

You soul is a treasure. You only are its warden. Only you can keep it.
Your spirit is a place of dreams and beauty. Forbid yourself from violence.

Tes yeux sont des mysteres insondables. Ils portent en eux tout ce que tu es. Ils sont tout ce que tu as de beau et d'unique.

Your eyes are neverending mysteries. They carry all that you are. They are all that you have that is unique and beautiful.y

Ta vie est un chemin ouvert. Prend la a bras le corps, ne la laisse pas s'echapper.

Your life is an open road. Take it by both hands, do not let it slip away.

Ton sourire est ton innocence. Partage le.

Your smile is your innocence. Share it.

Tout ce que tu apprends, garde le en memoire. Un jour, tu le transmettras.

Remember all that you learn. One day, you will share it too.

The Beaver


Saur♥Kraut said...

It's very sad to see children conscripted into the military. I read up on it while researching blood diamonds for a post I did, and felt keenly the horrible sadness of it.

But these kids are kidnapped by their captors and subjected to atrocities and terrors that force them to choose. And to stay sane, they must justify what they've chosen in their heads. So they become what kidnapped and conscripted them, and the cycle continues.

Beaver said...

Saur, your research is correct, though I wonder if you weren't reading up on Sierra Leone. Diamond exploitation in Liberia is still birthing, as the last 20 years of war have hampered foreign efforts to dig'em up.

Here in Liberia it was very common to see child soldiers during the war. As I understand the Liberian war, it was mostly about ownership of the power structure: pro-con Charles Taylor...

I would agree with you though, these kids are forced into become child soldiers and subjected to horrible treatments. In Sierra Leone, families were slaughtered for their boypower when the father refused to join the rebels. It may very well have happened here too.

I merely wanted to remind us all that these CHILDREN are still kids. And that indeed, they do hold the future.

Salt Water said...

I hope it's not so common that you took this soldier boy picture yourself. It is probably too personal for a public blog, but I wonder what is happening to your kind and gentle heart as it encounters the cruelty of this otherwise beautiful world.

Beaver said...

Salt Water,

I did not take this picture. In fact, in my post I am giving credit discreetly to the WCC, a peace building association dedicated to disarmement. *there's a link if you're interested in theur work*

There are no child soldiers in Liberia anymore. The cease fire happened 2 years ago. In fact, Monrovia is rather peaceful at the moment. Let's home that this precarious balance settles into long-lasting peace.

No worried man, my heart is safe!