Child Soldier Relief

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The mission of Child Soldier Relief Foundation (CSR), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization designated by the Internal Revenue Code, is to advocate on behalf of child soldiers by serving as a central repository of information on all topics relating to the topic of child soldiers.

Mental health problems for child soldiers in Liberia

In a clinic that serves the needs of former child soldiers in Paynesville, Liberia, a common problem arises.  There are not enough beds for the children – many of which arrive drug addicted or are diagnosed schizophrenic – and as a result many must leave the clinic after only three months.  “The centre can’t keep them any longer because it doesn’t have enough beds,” says John Philip, a psychiatric nurse.

According to the nurse, many among the Paynesville patients have been driven to self-mutilation, attempted suicide and violence against those closest to them.

The children are returned to their families, often unwelcome and certainly without proper long-term professional care and treatment.

 Families – often reluctant to re-engage with offspring considered “crazy, dangerous and inhabited by evil” – must then return to the hospital three months later for fresh supplies of the legal drugs used “to control” their children.

The problem is overwhelming:

Experts calculate that more than half the population of 3.5 million have psychological problems, 80 percent of them war-related, often the legacy of rape and the conscription of 21,000 children, some as young as nine, who were used as soldiers or sex slaves.

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Filed under: Liberia, Treatment Centers, , , , ,

One Response

  1. jamantha watson says:

    Please send me information on the way I may be of service to these former child soldiers in Liberia. I would love to help them in any way I am able to.

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