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Children: Soldiers or Stew?

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  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding a child soldier
    1. Building empathy
    2. A trauma on Citizen's part
  3. Does killing for a good cause affect a child solder's relationships
  4. Not regarding children as fragile
  5. The culprit for the exploitation of children
  6. Conclusion
  7. Works cited

In the novel, Moses, Citzen & Me, Delia Jarrett-Macauley conveys the narrator's struggle to understand an ex-child soldier. In order to do so, the narrator, Julia, must forge a relationship with the physically and emotionally elusive, Citizen. But, why whittle such a large topic like child soldiers down to focus on only one child? Perhaps the only way to comprehend the magnitude is to view a glimpse of specific relationships affected by the social injustice. The same idea holds true for the relationship between Patrick Dillion and his ten-year old bodyguard, Muhammad Ali, in ?My Bodyguard.?

[...] According to Anup Shah, a writer for an informative organization called Global Issues, ex child soldiers have severe troubles with mobilization and reintegration into society, not only because they are traumatized by the violence, but because they are often expected to resume life in the same society in which they had previously been forced to fight and kill people (Shah). Citizen rejoined the same society, but to top it off, lived with Moses after murdering Moses' wife?Citizen's own grandmother. Moses took Citizen back in, but remained reluctant to parent him and dismissive altogether in rekindling any kind of relationship. [...]

[...] In Moses, Citizen & Me, Bemba G teaches ex- child soldiers the mathematics, singing, and perhaps most importantly, the art of storytelling (Macauley). He succeeds in forming close bonds with children through educating them. He recognizes that these children have not experienced much?if any?schooling. The education process for children is critical to their transitions into adulthood. Learning how to tell a story encourages children to use their voices to share their stories with other people, no matter how painful. Julia recounts: ?Citizen began to discover what his life story really was People had come and helped him. [...]

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