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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.

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