Caring for Child Soldiers

Violence has been an everyday reality in Somalia since civil war erupted in 1991. Amid the shape-shifting war, “clan conflict gradually morphed into an all-out war against… al-Shabab”—with “a disposable front line” of child soldiers. The attendant trauma is impossible to measure.

In an effort to address it, one man risks running an unofficial center for al-Shabab defectors, housing 120 boys. Without any robust national mental health services, his currency is conversation, and informal seminars on conflict management. “In many ways, what Hussein does …  is what Somalia needs to do on a national scale,” writes Hassan Ghedi Santur.


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