#1030 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 1 Feb 2015
As children in NSW head back to school for another year of learning, spare a thought for the thousands of children around the world forced to serve as child soldiers in war zones.
UNICEF and partners have secured the freedom of 3,000 child soldiers in South Sudan – one of the largest ever releases of children from armed forces. And hours ago, 280 kids were the first to lay down their weapons and walk away from lives of conflict.
The youngest children are just 11 years old. Some have been fighting for four years, many have never attended school, and all of them have been forced to see and do things no child should ever experience.
UNICEF is reuniting these kids with their families, providing their immediate necessities and supporting the counseling and education they’ll need to start life again, in peace.
God bless all who work for peace and the liberation of child soldiers.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches