Honoring International Day of the Child Soldier 2013

In Colombia, MADRE partners with our sister organization Taller de Vida to provide resources, rehabilitation, and healing through art to former child soldiers. When our partners gave a group of children the chance to express themselves through drawings, they spoke of their experiences and their hopes in their own unique voices.

Below are a few of their drawings and their thoughts. (Click on each image to enlarge.)

I do not want to go back to an armed group and experience how I spent my childhood. I do not want to go back and be in an armed group or stay on a mountain and endure the cold or listen to the helicopters of the army.
I want to take a few steps to teach me more about love, happiness, the most important thing for me is to lead a new life, watch the sun brighten more light my path every day. I want to help children and help them recognize the resources they have.
I do not want to go back and live what I lived through. I do not want to shoot others and make them suffer in the worst possible way and feel alone in the world.
The step I would like to take in my life is to take back what I never had. And now I would like to study to move forward and help my family and be happy which is why I do what I can to have moral and strength to be what I want to be: a nurse, and to always have my own thoughts.
I do not want to go back to the hatred, the resentment, to a river of blood, pain, violation. I do not want to go back and see a lot of young people in the war. “The world is full of obstacles that you need to know how to cross”
What I do not want to have to live again is to belong again to the armed insurgency group and have to go back to being separated from my family.
What I want most is to feel as free as the air to take a step forward. And to overcome everything I would like to take a step to enable myself and be a good person. And I hope that tomorrow I can tell my story without fear and without fear and dread.

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