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ERIC Number: EJ815207
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 53
ISSN: ISSN-0010-4086
High Hopes, Grim Reality: Reintegration and the Education of Former Child Soldiers in Sierra Leone
Betancourt, Theresa S.; Simmons, Stephanie; Borisova, Ivelina; Brewer, Stephanie E.; Iweala, Uzo; de la Soudiere, Marie
Comparative Education Review, v52 n4 p565-587 Nov 2008
A number of studies have explored aspects of education relating to the reintegration of former child soldiers into their communities. In particular, researchers have shown the negative effects of child soldiering on the educational and economic outcomes of former child soldiers. A few studies have discussed the relative benefits of education for war-affected youth during the post-conflict phase. In Sierra Leone, available research focuses on the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) process and has explored the relationship between DDR program participation and outcomes such as income-earning capacity, confidence in the democratic process, and acceptance within a sample of mainly adults (mean age of 31 years). Although the large survey sample included some youth as young as 14, educational opportunities and issues facing children and adolescents were not specifically examined. The complexity of providing education to former child soldiers in Sierra Leone and the potential challenges that may be associated with their return to school remain unexplored in the research. This study aims to fill this gap and presents the perspectives of former child soldiers in Sierra Leone, their caregivers, and community members speaking to the role of education in their psychosocial adjustment and community reintegration following the end of the civil war. In this article the authors first examine the state of the Sierra Leonean educational system before and after the war and its role in the reintegration of former child soldiers. Next, they present the perspectives of former child soldiers, their caregivers, and community members on the role of education in reintegrating former child soldiers into society. They also examine the barriers they described in accessing educational and other training opportunities and in achieving their future goals. (Contains 10 footnotes.)
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-1878; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sierra Leone