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IndyBuzz provides information about Central Indiana's most stimulating and thought provoking events -- discussions and conferences, art exhibitions, films, music performances. It tells you what's happening … explains why you should be part of what’s happening. More than an events calendar, though, IndyBuzz tries to make events more meaningful for participants by suggesting an article or two to read before the event, recommending books or websites that will be sources of further information after the event, and pointing out related events that are worth attending.

Visit IndyBuzz's sister site, http://www.provocate.org/, which provides a context for the clusters of the events discussed in IndyBuzz.

March 14: Experience the horrors and hopes facing child soldiers in Africa


An activist, a legal scholar, and a former child soldier show films and discuss “From Conscription to Justice and Reintegration: Child Soldiers in Africa”


When: Wednesday, March 14, 7:00 – 9:00 pm


Where: The Old Centrum 520 E. 12th Street Indianapolis 46202


Citizens for Global Solutions presents Bukeni Waruzi Beck, Executive Director of AJEDIKa/Projet Enfants Soldats, and Madeleine, a former girl soldier from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for a public discussion and screening on child soldiers and the work of Mr. Beck’s organization. A light reception will follow.

The systematic and widespread use of children—the most vulnerable members of the population—in armed conflict is not new. The plight of these children continues to shock the conscience and demands immediate and urgent action.

Created to provide justice and accountability to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has commenced its first landmark case against a Congolese warlord accused of forcibly recruiting and conscripting tens of thousands of child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
In a recent visit to the ICC, Citizens for Global Solutions’ Legal Analyst, Golzar Kheiltash, met with a remarkable man fighting on the frontlines on behalf of child soldiers in Africa. Mr. Bukeni T. Waruzi Beck is an activist and filmmaker who has dedicated his life to not only revealing the plight of child soldiers, but to giving these children a second chance. Mr. Beck documents the stories of hundreds of child soldiers on film, revealing a stark and systematic cycle of recruitment and conscription, narrated by the children and their families in their own words. His films powerfully demonstrate the difficulties of many children who want to reintegrate into their communities after leaving the camps. This is especially true of girl soldiers who have suffered the added brutality of rape and sexual violence at the hands of their commanders.

Through his NGO, AJEDI-Ka/Projet Enfants Soldats, Mr. Beck combines the power of film with the power of hope: a dedicated staff of eight works tirelessly to demobilize and reintegrate girl and boy soldiers and maintain long-term follow up on the welfare of these children. In the words of Mr. Beck, “we at AJEDIKa/Projet Enfants Soldats devote our efforts to protecting the rights of children and the promotion of justice in their cause.”

Through their Connecting Global to Local initiative, Citizens for Global Solutions highlights Beck’s extraordinary work and provides those of us in Indianapolis with a unique opportunity to engage him on this critical issue.


  • From the North: Take Central Avenue south to the intersection of 12th Street and Central Avenue. The Old Centrum will be on your left.

  • From the South: Take Delaware Street north to 13th Street. Go east (right turn) on 13th Street to Central Avenue. Go south (right turn) on Central Avenue. The Old Centrum will be immediately on your left.

  • From the West: Take 16th Street east to Central Avenue. Go south (right turn) on Central Avenue to the intersection of 12th Street and Central Avenue. The Old Centrum will be on your left.

  • From the East: Take Washington Street west to Delaware Street. Go north on Delaware (right turn) to 13th Street. Turn east (right turn) on 13th Street to Central Avenue. Go south (right turn) on Central Avenue. The Old Centrum will be on your left.

  • Parking: The Old Centrum parking lot is on the east side of Central Avenue, just north of the Old Centrum building. There is also free parking along Central Avenue, as well as 12th Street.
For a clip of Bekeni Beck, go here.

If you like this event, make sure you see Bukeni, Madelaine, and Golzar when they discuss the International Criminal Court on March 13.

March 13: discuss the International Criminal Court and (and with) child soldiers

March 13: Discuss war crimes with international law expert Golzar Kheiltash and a former child soldier from Congo

When: Tuesday, March 13 registration starts at 7:00; presentation and discussion 7:30 to 8:45 PM

Where: Butler University, Jordan Hall Room 141.

The creation of the International Criminal Court has established a new venue for investigating and prosecuting war crimes, despite a lack of U.S. participation. Will the non-participation of the U.S. weaken the power of the ICC? What challenges are faced by the ICC in punishing war criminals?

As part of the Indiana Council on World Affairs Great Decisions series, we have a very unique chance to hear first hand reports about the current evolution of the International Criminal Court. The ICC is launching its first case, formally charging Thomas Lubanga Dyilo (the onetime leader of the country's Union des Patriotes Congolais) with "war crimes of enlisting and conscripting of children under the age of fifteen years." Although the US has opposed the ICC, fearing that American soldiers or policymakers could be subject to prosecution, it has cooperated in the case against Lubanga.

Explaining the significance of this development will be Indianapolis favorite, Golzar Kheiltash, of Citizens for Global Solutions. Golzar combines a rigorous academic legal background with strong advocacy skills to promote international legal norms and mechanisms that can prevent and punish the most heinous crimes such as genocide. Golzar has researched, analyzed, and advocated for the ICC in a personal and professional capacity for the last seven years, and currently coordinates the Washington Working Group on the ICC (WICC).

As Golzar said recently: "Thomas Lubanga Dyilo is exactly the type of person for whom the ICC was created -- a warlord who has forced children as young as nine to commit murder, rape, and mutilation, often against their own family members." She has been working closely on the case in DC and The Hague.

Tuesday March 13 at Butler University Golzar will be joined by two special visitors to Indianapolis. In a recent visit to the ICC, Golzar met Bukeni Beck, an activist and filmmaker who seeks to revealing the plight of child soldiers and to give these children a second chance. Beck documents the stories of hundreds of child soldiers on film, revealing a stark and systematic cycle of recruitment and conscription, narrated by the children and their families in their own words. His films demonstrate the difficulties of many children who want to reintegrate into their communities after leaving the camps. This is especially true of girl soldiers who have suffered the added brutality of rape and sexual violence at the hands of their commanders.

Bukeni and Golzar will be accompanied by "Madelaine," a fifteen year old former girl soldier from Congo.

What a fantastic opportunity to hear how these terrible issues are being addressed at a global and multilateral level, and at a local level as well.

For more information on AJEDI Ka/Projet Enfants Soldats, please visit: www.ajedika.org. For more information about Citizens for Global Solutions, please visit: www.globalsolutions.org.
For more information about the visit of Golzar and friends, contact Rich Stazinski at rstazinski@globalsolutions.org; and for information about the ICWA Great Decisions program, contact Bob Reardon at jrreardon@ccrtc.com.

If this sounds like an interesting event, make sure you check out Golzar, Bukeni, and "Madelaine" on March 14 when Bukeni shows and discusses some of his films about child soldiers and their rehabilitation.

The cost for a couple to attend this talk is $5.

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