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Twelve Veterans Graduate Program at Dalhousie University

Program Supports the Dallaire Initiative’s Mission to End the Use of Child Soldiers.

Twelve Veterans Graduate Program at Dalhousie University

Program Supports the Dallaire Initiative’s Mission to End the Use of Child Soldiers.

For Immediate Release

August 1, 2017

HALIFAX—On July 28th, the Dallaire Initiative graduated its second cohort of twelve veterans into the Wounded Warriors Canada Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers (VTECS) program at Dalhousie University. This year’s cohort consists of twelve Canadian Armed Forces Veterans and, in a first for the program, an RCMP veteran.

“We are excited to build upon the success of our graduates who through their unique set of skills and perspectives are well placed to help support and grow our mission of ending the use of children as weapons of war,” states Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.

The gradation was attended by a number of Members of Parliament including, The Honourable Andy Fillmore, MP for Halifax, along with representatives of Dalhousie University, Wounded Warriors Canada, the Air Canada Foundation and others.

The VTECS program provides an opportunity to receive focused education in the field of children affected by armed conflict and assist in developing instructor and facilitation skills that will be a benefit in all areas for Veterans transitioning from military to civilian life employment. Through the completion of the VTECS program, participants will become community educators and advocates, championing the Dallaire Initiative’s vision of a world where children are no longer recruited or used as weapons of war.

LCol Michael Rostek, commented, “”VTECS is a truly unique program leveraging the skills and knowledge of Veterans who continue to serve their country by contributing to the mission of ending the use of children as weapons of war. I am honoured to have been afforded the opportunity to work with such an inspiring team at the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative and look forward to making many future contributions to such a noble cause.”

Scott Maxwell, Executive Director of Wounded Warriors Canada, commented, “We continue to work with Veterans who are struggling to transition their specialized skills to the civilian workspace. We believe the VTECS program is a force multiplier – leveraging the skill set of our highly trained Veterans while also providing skills transition training; access to an academic environment; credits/accreditation possibilities and employment opportunities. On behalf of Wounded Warriors Canada, we congratulate the second cohort on their graduation and wish them the very best as they progress through the program in the months and years ahead.”

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Press Release: VTECS Program Launches in Halifax

The Dallaire Initiative

For Immediate Release

 

June 29th 2017

VTECS Program Launches in Halifax

Twelve Veterans participate in program at Dalhousie University to support the Dallaire Initiative’s mission to end the use of child soldiers.

Halifax, NS—On July 3rd, the Dallaire Initiative welcomes its second cohort of twelve veterans into the Wounded Warriors Canada Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers (VTECS) program at Dalhousie University. This year’s cohort consists of twelve Canadian Armed Forces Veterans and in a first for the program, an RCMP veteran.

“We are excited to build off the tremendous success of our inaugural graduating class last year,” states Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative. “Through VTECS we amplify our efforts to end the use of children as weapons of war”

In the past year, 6 alumni of the first cohort participated in the Dallaire Initiative’s world-class training to prevent the use of child soldiers in Sierra Leone, Kenya and Rwanda as trainers. Other inaugural graduates have conducted advocacy presentations across Canada on the issue of child soldiers and assisted with the development of resources and training for the Dallaire Initiative.

“The VTECS program offers former members of the Canadian Armed Forces an opportunity to repurpose their knowledge and skills that will help the Romeo Dallaire Initiative to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers. One can choose to ignore the problem, or you can become part of the security sector solution to make the world a better place,” states Ken Hoffer, Inaugural VTECS Alumni and Dallaire Initiative trainer.

The program will run for the month of July at Dalhousie University and consist of four classes, two-credited university courses on international politics and children and war along with two courses on the Dallaire Initiative’s training to prevent the use of child soldiers. The four classes blend the theoretical perspective and practical skills VTECS graduates will require in supporting the mission of the Dallaire Initiative.

Scott Maxwell, Executive Director of Wounded Warriors Canada, commented, “At Wounded Warriors Canada we continue to work with Veterans who find it difficult to apply their training and expertise in civilian life. The VTECS program is a force multiplier – leveraging the skills of our highly trained Veterans while also providing transition support; access to an academic environment; credits and potential employment opportunities. This, all the while working to address a critical security issue of our time: the use and recruitment of children as weapons of war. We are proud to fund this outstanding program and extend our best wishes to the second cohort.”

The program officially launches with the first of two public lectures at Halifax Central Library on July 5th at 7:00pm in the Paul O’Regan Hall with LGen Roméo Dallaire, founder of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative and Jon Somer, expert on the engagement of armed non-state actors in the protection of children. This event is free and open to the public.

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For Press Inquires

Josh Boyter

Director of Communications, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

[email protected]

1 902 494 2392 (office)

1 902 489. 6767 (cell)

Scott Maxwell

Executive Director, Wounded Warriors Canada

[email protected]

289-388- 6181

 

About the Organizations

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

The Dallaire Initiative, based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, is recognized as the only organization in the world taking a prevention-oriented, security sector focused approach to the crime against humanity that is child soldiery. Founded by retired lieutenant-general and celebrated humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is a leader committed to ending the use and recruitment of child soldiers worldwide, through ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training.

Wounded Warriors Canada

Wounded Warriors Canada is a non-profit organization that supports Canada’s ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans, First Responders and their families. Through a wide range of national programs and services, Wounded Warriors is dedicated to providing programs focused on mental health and, particularly, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

About Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Recruitment and use of Child Soldiers (VTECS)

Wounded Warriors Canada VTECS is an innovative program designed to engage military veterans on the issue of child soldiers by combining university level education with world class training. As they reform their skills and experiences, Canadian Forces Veterans become community educators and advocates, championing the Dallaire Initiative’s vision of a world where children are no longer recruited or used as weapons of war.

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Statement to Commemorate Red Hand Day

Dr. Shelly Whitman

Letter from Dr. Shelly Whitman

Executive Director of The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

Some 250 million children are affected  armed conflict around the globe. Today, in every conflict that exists, children are vulnerable to being recruited and used by adults. Their tactical and strategic use sustains and increases the severity of conflict while tearing at the fabric of societies affected by war.

This February 12th, the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers (Red Hand Day), offers us an opportunity to reflect on this sober reality and discuss how we can ultimately work towards ending the use of children as soldiers.

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative continues to be at the forefront of this fight, developing innovative tools and training for the security sector – military, police, prison personnel and peacekeepers—while creating ground-breaking research and high-level advocacy to create new solutions.

To mark Red Hand Day we are launching the third edition of our landmark publication, Child Soldiers: A Handbook for Security Sector Actors and the first edition of our maritime handbook, Children Used in Maritime Piracy: A Handbook for Maritime Security Sector Actors. These two handbooks aim to proactively and positively engage the security sector actors to prioritize the prevention of the use of child soldiers as a critical element to the protection of children and conflict prevention measures.

Canada has now taken the lead to ensure this ethos and approach is undertaken by the Canadian Armed Forces through the development of a Doctrine on Child Soldiers. The significance of this doctrine cannot be understated. Within its lines, not only is a baseline set for how Canada understands and actively assists in preventing the use of child soldiers, but how we will better prepare the men and women who face this reality in the field. Read our full statement on this important step forward here.

In a world of competing priorities, it is important we elevate the need to protect children from violence and abuse. A Children’s Rights Upfront approach will build points of collaboration and create momentum on the international peace and security agenda.  The concerted efforts of many are required to create a world where children are no longer used as weapons of war.

All forward together,

Dr. Shelly Whitman

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Statement on Canadian Armed Forces Doctrine on Child Soldiers

LGen Roméo Dallaire (Ret’d) and Dr. Shelly Whitman

By: LGen Roméo Dallaire (Ret’d) and Dr. Shelly Whitman

Innovation has always been at the core ethos of Canada and our armed forces. From our tactical innovations of the creeping barrage and counter-battery fire at Vimy Ridge some 100 years ago to the creation of the concept of peacekeeping as we know it today, Canada has and continues to innovate when facing the evolving realities of war and attempts to build peace.

Today, Canada, in collaboration with the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, has once again lead from the front with the creation of our Canadian Armed Forces Doctrine on Child Soldiers. This first of its kind document is a testament to Canada and our willingness to tackle one of the most pressing paradoxes of our time, the use of children as weapons of war.

The significance of this doctrine cannot be understated. Within its lines, not only is a baseline set for how Canada understands and actively assists to prevent the use of child soldiers, but how we will better prepare the men and women who face this reality in the field. This will ensure that our armed forces can undertake an active role in helping end this reality of war.

The uses of children as weapons of war are not chosen through sheer happenstance. They are a tactical and strategic choice, deployed to achieve a specific aim. Through this doctrine and the coordination of training that will follow across all branches of the Canadian Armed Forces, our men and women in uniform will be able to attrite this tactical and strategic use of children at its root and reduce casualties on all sides.

Today, we are one step closer to protecting those who serve and the children used as weapons of war. We applaud Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces and know that this critical doctrine will provide a leading example to our NATO allies, in peace support operations with the UN, as well as our partners in global missions towards ending the use of child soldiers once and for all.

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For Media Inquires

Josh Boyter

Director of Communications, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

[email protected]

1 902 494 2392 (office)

1 902 489. 6767 (cell)

About the Organization

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

The Dallaire Initiative, based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, is recognized as the only organization in the world taking a prevention-oriented, security sector focused approach to the crime against humanity that is child soldiery. Founded by retired lieutenant-general and celebrated humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is a leader committed to ending the use and recruitment of child soldiers worldwide, through ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training.

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Press Release: Program seeks Canadian Armed Forces Veterans committed to ending the use of child soldiers

For Immediate Release

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative and Wounded Warriors Canada opens call for Canadian Armed Forces Veterans for innovative program designed to eradicate the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

Halifax, NS — Today, the Wounded Warriors Canada Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers (VTECS) program opens its application call to bring together 15 Canadian Armed Forces veterans for a month long intensive residency in Halifax, NS during July 2017. Based at Dalhousie University, the program combines university level education with the Dallaire Initiative’s world-class training aimed at preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

“War has changed, therefore our tactics must too. By combining the necessity for skill sharing opportunities for Canadian Veterans with a widespread social and human rights issue like that of child soldiers, we are better poised to mobilize a global response to the issue of children being recruited and used as weapons of war,” states Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.

The aim of the VTECS program is to help Veterans reconstruct their military skills and experiences into community education and advocacy, championing the Dallaire Initiative’s vision of a world where children are no longer recruited or used as weapons of war. At the same time, by tapping into the experiences and expertise of successful applicants, the Dallaire Initiative is better able to cultivate approaches that are comprehensive, nimble and rooted in best practices while simultaneously being adaptive to localized context and circumstance on the issue of child soldiers.

Scott Maxwell, Executive Director of Wounded Warriors Canada, commented, “At Wounded Warriors Canada we continue to work with Veterans who find it difficult to apply their training and expertise in civilian life. The VTECS program is a force multiplier – leveraging the skills of our highly trained Veterans while also providing transition support; access to an academic environment; credits and potential employment opportunities. This, all the while working to address a critical security issue of our time: the use and recruitment of children as weapons of war. We are proud to fund this outstanding program and look forward to its continued success.”

Applications are now being accepted for the 2017 VTECS program. Interested Canadian Veterans can apply online between January 19, 2017 and February 12, 2017. The program is open to any Canadian Armed Forces Veteran with a good conduct release who can meet the program requirements. Program requirements and application are available online at childsoldiers.org/vtecs

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 For Press Inquires

Josh Boyter

Director of Communications, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

[email protected]

1 902 494 2392 (office)

1 902 489. 6767 (cell)

Scott Maxwell

Executive Director, Wounded Warriors Canada

sco[email protected]

289-388- 6181

About the Organizations

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

The Dallaire Initiative, based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, is recognized as the only organization in the world taking a prevention-oriented, security sector focused approach to the crime against humanity that is child soldiery. Founded by retired lieutenant-general and celebrated humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is a leader committed to ending the use and recruitment of child soldiers worldwide, through ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training.

Wounded Warriors Canada

Wounded Warriors Canada is a non-profit organization that supports Canada’s ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans, First Responders and their families. Through a wide range of national programs and services, Wounded Warriors is dedicated to providing programs focused on mental health and, particularly, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

About Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Recruitment and use of Child Soldiers (VTECS)

Wounded Warriors Canada VTECS is an innovative program designed to engage military veterans on the issue of child soldiers by combining university level education with world class training. As they reform their skills and experiences, Canadian Forces Veterans become community educators and advocates, championing the Dallaire Initiative’s vision of a world where children are no longer recruited or used as weapons of war.

Media Advisory: Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers

For Immediate Release

Media advisory

 

Canadian Veterans Join the Fight Against Child Soldiers

Toronto, Ontario, February, 8th – On February 10th, Wounded Warriors Canada will present LGen Roméo Dallaire and the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative with a $175 000 investment towards the pilot year of the Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers (VTECS) program. Held at the Royal Military Institute, remarks will be made by LGen Roméo Dallaire, Founder of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative and Scott Maxwell, Executive Director of Wounded Warriors Canada. Following the 11:00am cheque presentation, a joint press conference will be held.

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (Dallaire Initiative), is enlisting Canadian veterans in its global fight against child soldiers with the launch of the Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers (VTECS) program on February 10th. Delivered with the support of Wounded Warriors Canada, the programs, will build on the valuable knowledge, experience and insight Canadian veterans possess to deliver specialized training to prevent the use of child soldiers.

Based out of the Dallaire Initiative’s home, Dalhousie University, the VTECS program will equip Canadian veterans with specialized skills and knowledge to help deliver the Dallaire Initiative’s ground breaking work to prevent the use of child soldiers. Graduates of the VTECS program will help prepare their security sector peers for encounters with child soldiers and strengthen their ability to recognize and interrupt recruitment.

Location: The Royal Military Institute, 426 University Ave., Toronto, ON.

Date: February­­ 10th, 2015

Time: 11:00 am

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Media contacts:

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

Josh Boyter

[email protected]

1 902 494 2392 (office)

1 902 489. 6767 (cell)

Wounded Warriors Canada

Scott Maxwell

[email protected]

289-388-6181

 

About the organizations

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

The Dallaire Initiative, based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, is recognized as the only organization in the world that is taking a prevention-oriented, security sector focused approach to the crime against humanity that is child soldiery. Founded by retired lieutenant-general and celebrated humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is a global partnership committed to ending the use and recruitment of child soldiers worldwide, through ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training.

Wounded Warriors Canada

Wounded Warriors Canada is a non-profit organization that supports Canada’s ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans, First Responders and their families. Through a wide range of national programs and services, Wounded Warriors is dedicated to providing programs focused on mental health and, particularly, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.