While we were on our trip to Liberia last October, there were many experiences that moved me deeply. There were some that lifted me up, and gave me hope and faith in humanity. There were others that were nightmares- and this is one of them. Our schedule for the fifth day of the trip was overbooked. We planned on visiting a school, a local cookhouse, a high-ranking government official, a hospital, one of the worst slums in all of West Africa – and its mayor, a former warlord and his reformation camp for former child soldiers, and yet we were getting another call – a call that would give me an entirely new perspective on Liberia and life. We started early in the morning that Wednesday, in an attempt to fit everything in. We skipped breakfast, which was hard to come by anyway, and loaded up to visit a school where most of the children needed scholarships. By the time we arrived, we were already running behind. So, unfortunately, we had to rush through our meetings. We got to greet the kids and then we split up. Half of us met with school administrators, and the others pulled some kids aside to get their stories. That’s when we got the call.
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.