Liberian boys faced unbelievable horrors running from forced armed service during the civil war. A comment from Dadob, a viewer of a KSL news story featuring Mitch Weight, weighed-in on his experience working with young Liberian men. Before Mitch’s scheduled trip to Liberia two weeks ago, he met with Jed Boal of KSL News who shared what he learned about Sahbu International. The article, along with a few comments from viewers following the news story, is found here on the KSL website. We recognize that there are many hardships in every community around the world, but we wanted to share Dadob’s comments, as he compares the need in Liberia based on his experience as an American: “I worked with three twenty-something young men from Liberia, while working as a contractor in Iraq. The stories they told me were astonishing. They all spoke about their youth and a common thread came out. They all lived in different villages on the outskirts of Monrovia.The common thread was their childhood and early teens were full of stories about running from the rebels.
Pat: This morning we met with a group of former child soldiers. The horrors they faced and atrocities they committed during Liberia’s 15-year civil war are unimaginable to most Americans. One man told us of a rape he committed when his SBU (small boy unit) attacked a university campus in Monrovia. Years later, the woman he raped spotted him on the street. She spoke out. He ignored her cries. Another man, David, had a more gruesome story to tell. As a child soldier high on heroin and cocaine, David made a bet with a boy in his unit on the sex of a woman’s unborn baby. After killing the woman “with a bullet,” David said he used a bayonet to slice open her stomach. It was a boy, and the man I interviewed won 1,500 Liberian dollars, about $15 U.S. today. He told me that incident remains one of his biggest regrets in life.
If you’ve been following our cause, you are aware of the dire situation Liberian children face, as the country recovers from a 14-year civil war. The war destroyed literally everything, and orphaned hundreds of thousands of children. One of those children was recently rescued from the streets by Karen Mathot, of Lifting Liberia. Yesterday, she shared with us the heartbreaking story of a boy who is five years old, abandoned, hungry, unclothed and unloved. A community member, who said the boy has been wandering the streets for three years, brought him to the school. Reports told that he was dropped in a dumpster at two years old because his parents were unable to provide for him. Karen took the boy home with her to bathe, clothe, and “just love him.” Karen said this is not uncommon. To us, this is unfathomable and heartbreaking.