AFTER VIEWING AND DISCUSSING THE VIDEO “I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK”, STUDENTS WERE GIVEN 15 MINUTES TO PREPARE A PRESENTATION.
Boy: (reading) “To the commanders of war. This is a global approach to all the commanders who have been given leadership. Allow me to start with a word of Catherine, a Dutch monarch, and I quote, ‘Your actions today will determine your future tomorrow’. Our future is our children. Why use them to do bad, when they can do good? Why hurt them, when we can love them? We as children are asking you not to recruit children under the age of eighteen years to participate in war.We trust that our request will meet in your favour. Thank you.” (clapping)
Teacher: We’re going to move to the ladies’ table.
Girl: (reading) “I would like to address this important documentary where you as the commanders use young children, even girls, to be soldiers.”
Girl: (reading) “Don’t you know that if you’re using children in the war you send a negative message to others? Children under the age of eighteen should not be used in a war. They have a lack of education, they suffer emotional distress. If they are involved in the war, you deprive them of their normal upbringing. They could be a threat to their communities, and, most importantly, they are the leaders of tomorrow.”
Girl: (reading) “I disagree on young children being involved in the war or even as soldiers,because they are all afraid of him and I also agree that they are the leaders of tomorrow.”
Teacher: Well done.
Boy: Okay. (reading) “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of all the children around the world, I would like to say that we as children, we don’t like to become soldiers because we get haunted by the people we kill and some of us, some of my friends I had during the war they committed suicide and some of them are like in rehabilitation centres and that stuff. But there was a time when I wanted to kill myself, but today I want to take a stand for all the children around the world because I don’t want them to become like me and go through hell like I did. As you can see, my life is a mess. Look at me - my feelings is, I look like a bum, yeah, but, if you don’t want your children to look like me, please, I beg of you don’t use children as soldiers.” (clapping)
Boy: (reading) “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I am here just to speak on behalf of all the children of the world. I just want to put in my plea according to the fighting of the children. That it should be put to an immediate stop, because these children that are combatant should be not fighting in respect of the mother’s family were killed. Another thing is, I totally think that the leaders mostly are taking advantage of the children’s emotional distress. Because at the end of the day it’s all for the leaders’ benefits. So please just consider these words because these children that are killed could be the leaders of tomorrow.”
Teacher: The last table.
Boy: (reading) “Good evening, fellow mankind and commanders of war, upon this day the fourth of the seventh month, two thousand.We the children of the world like to bring this message under your attention to save the fellow mankind of extinction. For the future lies in our young ones, our children. If you use our younger generation in combat as combatants we won’t have any seeds left to prosper. At the age of eighteen children are being considered as adults, so let us live for the world and not for the grave.”
IF YOU WERE THE TEACHER, HOW WOULD YOU HELP STUDENTS RELATE THESE IDEAS TO THEIR OWN LIVES?
Teacher: You did very well, and I’m glad to see that the film, the video, had a positive impact on you. Let’s take what we’ve learned today over to our community because in gangs, we have children in gangs. I mean gangsterism is totally wrong, it’s not war. All right? It’s totally wrong, but then, also, they make use of children, right? So take it to the community, and may God help us. That we would never need to recruit children for any war, any rebellion, or whatever, okay? Is there anyone who wants to say something?
Boy: Sir, there’s something important you left out, sir, and as Martin Luther King said, sir, “I have a dream”, sir, and now by recruiting children as combatants, sir, you are taking away their future, sir, so which automatically it means you’re spoiling their dream, sir.
Teacher: Yes, you’re spoiling their dream.
Boy: And it is basically what all of us left out, sir.
Teacher: Okay, thank you.