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Precious Resources: Adolescents in the Reconstruction of Sierra Leone


Young people in Sierra Leone are standing on a divide, with one foot still planted in the mire of a bloody decade-long war from which they are just emerging, and the other slowly edging its way toward the more secure ground of a newly established peace. They hesitate, contemplating the move, unconvinced that what lies ahead is better than where they have been. Memories of the brutal war that began in 1991, in which they played a major part, make them wary of promises of safe, solid ground ahead. Their experience of adult manipulation and betrayal make them distrustful. Moreover, the choice of committing to peace is not theirs alone. It is also up to the adults on whom the young people of Sierra Leone depend — government, communities, families, and international agencies — to make sure that peace for young people means more than the end of armed conflict.