Liberia’s 14-year civil war left many children orphans and without homes. The wanton destruction of lives, no rx homes, thumb and property caused by this war is well-documented but its effect on Liberian children is yet to be fully grasped. During the war, medicine many children were abducted by rebel groups who compelled them to become rebel fighters, ammunition porters, and in some cases sex slaves, and in extreme cases initiated these young people to egregious violation of human rights. Indeed, many children became perpetrators of war crimes under the watch of adult rebel commanders. When the conflict ended in August 2003, every child in Liberia was affected by the war in a multiplicity of ways, with hundreds of thousands of them abused, without parents, a place to call home, and without a future.
Today, most of these children live in orphanages while others either live with relatives who themselves are struggling to make ends meet as they are recovering from the effects of the war, or are on the streets and without an education.
Without an education the future of Liberia’s war-affected children is grim and the prospects for peace in Liberia bleak. This is where CPE comes in. In a small way, CPE through its peace education curriculum in the schools and to the community attempts to offer educational opportunities to some of these children. All CPE’s classes/courses are free and open to community members, irrespective of age, religious affiliation, rebel faction affiliation, ethnic background, and geographic location.
Since its launch in April 2009, over one thousand (1,000) youth, adults, and elders have benefited from the program. In addition, the program has provided a safe haven for youth where they are always welcomed and loved despite their past lifestyle or experiences.