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Years of fighting, day of fun

© UNICEF Liberia/2004
George talking with children and community at above location - there were over 1,000 children in attendance and more adults.

23 April 2004

This week UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and international soccer start George Weah was in his home country of Liberia to help promote the issue of reintegrating former child combatants. This is his second visit in four months as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. In January, 2004 he was in Liberia to help focus international attention on the plight of Liberian children in the aftermath of 14 years of civil conflict.

© UNICEF Liberia/2004
School children singing a song of welcome for George at the above. The song called for education for all Liberian kids.

With the recommencement of the disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation, and reintegration (DDRR) of fighters of Liberia’s warring factions on 15 April 2004, UNICEF is mobilizing resources to provide immediate care and reintegration support to the estimated 15,000 children coming out of the programme.

During this April trip, Mr. Weah spoke with some of these children associated with the fighting forces that have gone through the disarmament and demobilization (children who have left the fighting and turned in their weapons to United Nations peacekeepers) part of DDRR in December 2003 and are now preparing to go home once family tracing is completed.

© UNICEF Liberia/2004
At Temporary Learning Space at Segbeh IDP camp in Montserrado County.
These children are staying at the Don Bosco Interim Care Centre in Savio Village, Montserrado, Liberia. Mr. Weah watched the children perform drama, music, rap and present art. George gave the children a sports-in-box and footballs and encouraged them to participate in sports.




23 April 2004: UNICEF's Representative in Liberia Angela Kearney describes George Weah's visit to UNICEF correspondent Francis Mead.

Audio clip ([mp3]; right-click to download)

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