By: Darin Reeves

Following an intense week of classroom lectures, small group meetings and the input from every participant, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative led training to end the use of child soldiers, in partnership with AMISOM and the British Peace Support Team (East Africa) (BPST-EA), took to the field on Monday. This course, hosted at the Humanitarian and Peace Support School (HPSS) located in Embakasi, Kenya, is the first of its kind and brings together AMISOM and Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) personnel to learn how to better end this horrible abuse of children.

Key to the innovative Dallaire Initiative led training is the use of field scenarios to take classroom lessons and bring them to life. In addition to combining the unique capabilities and expertise of all those concerned with protecting child rights, including security sector actors (military, police, corrections and border services), government departments and NGOs, this field training shows all participants the complexity and challenge of implementing lofty goals into real action.

Representing the Government of Canada to oversee commencement of this training was Her Excellency Ms. Sara Hradecky, High Commissioner of Canada to Kenya. Joined by Colonel Richard Leakey, Commander BPST-EA, and Colonel Elija Mwanyika, Commander HPSS, H.E. Hradecky expressed to all participants the confidence and support of the Canadian Government, and the symbolic importance that this field training was commencing on International Red Hand Day, dedicated to drawing attention to the fates of child soldiers.

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