July 30, 2015 by Speakers' Spotlight
Michel Chikwanine: Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War
Michel Chikwanine has overcome unimaginable pain and struggles. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Michel grew up amid the terror of the Great War of Africa. He witnessed the torture of his father, the rape of his mother, and endured torture of his own. Much of his childhood was ravaged by the death and decay of a war that claimed the lives of 5.8 million people, his father included, and forced him to be a child soldier. Michel now inspires people to believe in their ability to make a difference and leaves audiences with a new perspective on life, a sense of hope through social responsibility, and a desire for change. This September, Michel will release his new book, Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls are Used in War, written with Jessica Dee Humphreys, and geared to kids 10-14 years old. Watch the trailer above. Child Soldier tells Michel’s personal story in a way that is understandable for parents and young kids alike. The book description is below, and you can watch the trailer and an interview with Michel above.
Michel is like many other five-year-olds: he has a loving family and spends his days going to school and playing soccer. But in 1993, the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Michel and his family live, is a country in tumult. One afternoon Michel and his friends are kidnapped by rebel militants and forced to become child soldiers. Child Soldier is the sometimes heartbreaking but ultimately inspiring true story of the triumph of the human spirit.