One was a child soldier in Sierra Leone. The other was attacked by child soldiers in that same civil conflict.

Both were victims.

Now, on Wednesday, Wednesday, April, at 6 p.m., Kabba Williams and Mariatu Kamara will join forces at the University of Bridgeport to present personal stories of extraordinary resiliency during “Child Survivors of Armed Conflict.”

The presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session, will be held at the Arnold Bernhard Center, 84 Iranistan Avenue, Bridgeport. It is free and open to the public.

Mariatu Kamar is UNICEF Canada’s Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict and the author of The Bite of The Mango. Born May 26, 1986, she was 12 years old when her village was attacked by armed rebels with the Revolutionary United Front. During this attack, child soldiers amputated her hands and killed many of her family friends. She immigrated to Canada in 2002. Since then, she has worked with Free the Children and UNICEF Canada to promote women’s and children’s rights. She is the founder of the Mariatu Foundation, and in 2009 was named a Voices of Courage Honoree by the Women’s Refugee Commission.

Copies of her book will be available for sale at the event.

Kabba Williams was seven years old in 1991 when he was kidnapped by the Revolutionary United Front. He and other child soldiers were routinely drugged and forced to commit acts of murder, torture, and sexual violence. Although he escaped after six months, he was later captured by the Sierra Leone Army, which forced him to fight for another three years. He was 10 when UNICEF workers began the process of rehabilitating him. Since then, Kabba has co-established the African Reformation War Child Advocacy Network to speak on behalf of child victims of conflict. He has served for Amnesty International and the United Nations. An advocate for education, he completed his bachelor’s degree in education and literature.

“Child Survivors of Armed Conflict” is sponsored by Phi Kappa Phi and the College of Public and International Affairs.

Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625, lgeary@bridgeport.edu
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