Protecting children in Chad and South Sudan

Two students help fight the recruitment of child soldiers

Amidst our daily life in Canada, as we think of the children in our lives, it can be hard to imagine a world where children are used as weapons of war. Yet the recruitment and use of child soldiers continues to be a reality in countries around the world.

Two UFV Criminology students, Marie Verbenkov and Jeff Schneider, refused to look away from this reality.

Not willing to wait until after graduation to start making a difference, Marie and Jeff spent September 2014 helping the effort to put an end to child warfare in Chad and South Sudan.

Marie and Jeff worked CKR Global in support of Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, an organization on a mission to eradicate the recruitment and use of child soldiers worldwide.

The two students researched the nature of child soldier activities and human rights implications. Their work complements training for security sector workers in Chad and South Sudan.

The project is a great learning opportunity, but it is also so much more. “I appreciate the opportunity to work on an issue of such great magnitude that can make a real impact on young lives,” says Marie.

“It truly is an eye-opening experience,” says Jeff, “to see what goes on in other parts of the world. This is the fourth year that UFV’s School of Criminology has partnered with CKR Global. “This is also a great example of the type of international experiences available to UFV students,” says Amy Prevost, director of the school. “Our university strives to provide our students and graduates with opportunities to have a positive impact both locally and beyond.”