HomeCulturePodcast | Liberia’s child soldiers face PTSD as they seek their place...

Podcast | Liberia’s child soldiers face PTSD as they seek their place in post-war society

After observing the murder of his moms and dads and also brother or sisters, Morris Matadi was hired as a youngster soldier. They placed a rifle in his hands and also required him to take an energetic function in the Liberian civil battle.

Someday he took care of to take down his tool and also get away. Yet, like numerous various other ex-combatants, the scary of battle did not leave him, a minimum of not emotionally. He maintained going back to the field of battle with brilliant headaches and also experienced various other signs of trauma (PTSD), such as rage strikes.

All this in a context where these warriors that as soon as obeyed their very own guidelines ended up being the ne’er-do-well of culture once the battle finished and also the guidelines returned. Much of Liberian culture can not fail to remember or forgive their function as enforcers throughout the battle and also does not desire them to rehabilitate.

After discovering the function of standard maleness in Liberia’s civil battle (1989-2003), we rejoin Liberian reporter Carielle Doe to explore the results of the dispute, specifically we explore the injuries that are unseen yet take longer to recover. The injuries that not just deeply mark the lives of ex-combatants, yet of Liberian culture overall, which still today battles to challenge its past.

Yet psychological wellness problems connected to guys that return from battle are not just damaging Liberian ex-combatants. Soldiers all over the world have actually reported PTSD signs. The quiet injury brought upon by battle is one of the most hard to recover. It leaves a deep mark of memories.

PTSD clients re-experience the previous distressing circumstances strongly and also these experiences prompt the exact same anxiety as the initial injury. They often locate alleviation in venting their rage or resorting to alcohol or medications.

In Liberia, these guys have actually discovered team conferences a refuge to get rid of the physical violence of the past. It is a league to open to every various other regarding 2nd possibilities, parenthood and also what makes up the features of an excellent guy. Events to assist them begin afresh.

With initial coverage and also editing and enhancing by Carielle Doe in Monrovia, Liberia. Marta Rodriguez Martinez, Naira Davlashyan, Lillo Montalto Monella & & Arwa Barkallah in Lyon, Mame Peya Diaw in Nairobi, Lory Martinez in Paris, France and also Clizia Sala in London, UK. Manufacturing Style by Workshop Ochenta. Held by Danielle Olavario. Motif by Gabriel Dalmasso. Unique many thanks to Peya Mame and also Natalia Oelsner for finding the songs for this episode. Our editorial director is Yasir Khan.

In this episode, we made use of songs by Liberian musician Confidence Vonic. You can discover even more regarding her songs in her Youtube, Instagram, Twitter and facebook accounts.

Pay attention likewise on:

Concerning Cry Like a Young Boy

Cry Like a Young boy is an initial Euronews collection and also podcast that discovers exactly how the stress to be ‘a guy’ can hurt family members and also whole cultures. Remain with us as we take a trip throughout the African continent to fulfill guys that are resisting centuries-old sex stereotypes and also redefining their duties as guys.

The podcast is offered in French under the name Dans la Tête des Hommes.

Pay attention to us on Castbox, Spotify, Apple, or any place you pay attention to podcasts and also do not be reluctant to rank us or to leave a remark.


Danielle Olavario [Disclaimer]: Prior to we begin, simply a direct that this episode consists of testaments and also tales of battle that some audiences might locate distressing or disrupting.

Morris Matadi: While I was resting I had my arm, so I fell for my AK-47. I stated currently I have someone to look after me. This is my mommy and also this is my father, this is my family members. I’m mosting likely to maintain it and also it’s mosting likely to secure me. [00:08:59][16.3]

Danielle Olavario: This is exactly how Morris Matadi remembers his years as a youngster soldier throughout the battle. Today he is a papa. Morris experienced the murder of his moms and dads and also brother or sisters throughout the battle.

He stated they were taken behind a hut by the rebels, and also never ever returned. He listened to gunfires, he listened to screams, and also later on saw rebels returning with blood on them and also leaking from their blades. Morris became aware that was where the rebels took individuals to eliminate.

We remain in Paynesville, a city right beyond Monrovia, the funding of Liberia. Our press reporter on the ground, Carielle, is being in Morris’ home, a lower-middle-class structure for regional requirements.

After his entire family members was eliminated by rebels, Morris was alone and also ended up being a simple victim to those that hired kid soldiers. They placed a rifle in his hands. This is exactly how he bears in mind that minute:

Morris Matadi: All I desired was to make it through. So, you understand, you eliminate or be eliminated. To make sure that was the scenario, my sibling.

Danielle Olavario: Recently, these memories do not usually appear in Morris’ mind. He made use of to have brilliant headaches. And now he takes into consideration that duration a shut phase of his life. He has actually recovered literally, as well as likewise emotionally. Despite the fact that recuperating from mental injury has actually taken longer than anticipated.

Morris Matadi: I was traumatised today I’m no more traumatised.

Danielle Olavario: Welcome to Cry Like a Young boy, a podcast regarding exactly how the stress to “be an actual guy” drives guys to be endure, aloof and also constantly solid. As well as regarding exactly how this can harm family members and also cultures.

We are back in the tiniest country of West Africa, Liberia, for the 2nd component of our docudrama regarding the Liberian guys, some as young as the age of nine-years-old, that dealt with in the civil battle that ruined the nation in between 1989 and also 2003. A battle of numerous intrigues sustained by natural deposits, age old inter-ethnic stress and also the broad space in between the abundant and also the bad.

These warriors that as soon as obeyed their very own guidelines ended up being the ne’er-do-well of culture once the battle finished and also the guidelines returned.

Culture sees them under an adverse light as a result of the physical violence they devoted throughout the battle. Yet these soldiers are likewise sufferers. They endured the stress of standard maleness throughout the dispute and also currently they lug its injury.

As they hesitate of shedding their online reputation as guys, they do not talk openly regarding the mental injuries that battle brought upon on them.

Alexander Blackie: They have no suggestion what they are still coping with. Injury, I risk you if you go check out a few of those residences and also see exactly how they engage with their youngsters. The kid is simply a 2 years of age pertaining to fulfill father. As well as when you see exactly how father will certainly press you away, you understand that the distressing scenario that daddy passed you, that he is still living it. We have actually not actually managed injury in Liberia. We are still coping with injury.

Danielle Olavario: This is Alexander Blackie. He helps the Carter Facility’s Mental Health and wellness Program, which intends to enhance the weak Liberian public psychological wellness system.

Alexander Blackie: We require to rest and also talk about the fact: it occurred. I did it. Please forgive me.

Danielle Olavario: In Liberia, the UN has actually checked the populace living in among the locations that was most affected by the battle. The research has actually revealed that practically half of the participants reported signs of Message Distressing Stress And Anxiety Problem, or PTSD.

Nevertheless, there are still many individuals below that do not think that clinical therapy is feasible for mental disorders. The federal government itself just presented a psychological wellness plan in 2009 and also a psychological wellness legislation in 2017.

Carielle Doe, our press reporter on the ground describes exactly how Liberians regard psychological wellness.

Carielle Doe: For the hundreds of individuals living as labourers and also making just a few bucks a day. A psychological wellness day might be a day without any food. Yet as we understand, injury does not appreciate one’s situations, and also it discovers methods to allow you understand it exists. When an individual experiences a psychological wellness situation, specifically in backwoods, it is usually credited to wizardry curses from envious neighbors or demonic belongings. With couple of psychological wellness sources offered in Liberia and also really little info offered regarding exactly how and also where to locate such assistance. Individuals in situation usually rely on churches or standard therapists to resolve their issues. In severe situations, those without solid assistance networks can wind up homeless and also wandering the roads, usually the topic of pity, taunting and also anxiety. Others utilize medications to get away.

Danielle Olavario: Psychological wellness problems prevail among those that return from battle, throughout the globe. And Also American and also European motion pictures have actually usually portrayed PTSD.

PTSD recognizes no limits. It gets rid of the restrictions of room, yet likewise of time. PTSD in soldiers was currently recorded in old Greece. Much like today, these guys experienced consistent headaches after returning from battle.

Allowed’s proceed to much more current times. Throughout the American Civil Battle, some soldiers defined dealing with anxiousness and also sensation frequently on side. Individuals called it “soldier’s heart”.

Yet it was throughout World war that soldiers experienced PTSD at its worst. Individuals called it “shell-shock,” this mental injury needed an official therapy.

Gary Barker: As well as the entire building of maleness is throughout the globe, essentially, has actually been that guys do not look for assistance. We’re not enabled to ask for it. Whether we recall at Europe in World War, where we began to find up with this suggestion of “shell shock”. Yet it was an unmanly point. Actual guys really did not require assistance.

Danielle Olavario: This is Gary Barker, the owner of Promundo, a global NGO that targets at involving guys in the discussion focusing on sex equal rights.

Gary Barker: Guy appearing of World war and also II, for that issue, were thought about weak guys if they spoke about their battle experiences of anything apart from splendor.

Danielle Olavario: Mental injury resembles an injury: the skin heals, yet it leaves a mark. When it comes to soldiers, the quiet injury brought upon by battle is one of the most hard to recover. It leaves a thick mark of memories behind.

With PTSD, injury often tends to find back once more in a devastating kind: clients re-experience the previous distressing circumstances strongly and also these experiences prompt the exact same anxiety as the initial injury. In Liberia, and also all over the world, soldiers with PTSD locate alleviation in venting their rage. Often they turn to alcohol or medications.

Gary Barker: It’s simple to look with a feeling that boys, grown-up guys associated with problems are harmed and also they’re strolling time bombs and also they’re damaging. Therefore as long as that might continue to be unmentioned, there’s a substantial quantity of idea that the guys entailed keep away from them, do not provide work, do not allow your youngsters associate them and also allow your children wed their children. So I assume exactly how do we relocate far from those were the guys that triggered damage, where they are, they bring damages to our neighborhoods, to those are guys that require assistance.

Danielle Olavario: We are back with Morris’ family members. At the doors of his one-storey olive-coloured home, bordered by hand trees. Outside there is songs, there is sound, there is bustle.

Considering that completion of the battle, he has actually come a lengthy means to resolve his residence in this area. He went from a youngster soldier to a counsellor. Today, he is aiding others to get rid of injury.

Carielle Doe: For those that have papas still fighting their injury and also medicine dependency, Morris made a decision to supply academic assistance. What started as an after college tutoring program for 7 youngsters turned into the 235-student Rilo Structure Educational Institution System, where the youngsters of ex-spouse fighters and also drug user participate in college absolutely free.

Morris claims that when individuals fulfill him and also do not understand about his past, they are stunned to find that he was as soon as a youngster soldier.

Morris Matadi: I joined battle when I was a small, what you inform me ‘you exist Morris’. So I will certainly browse the web and also share my image in attire. What? You show up all various.

Danielle Olavario: Right Here is what Gary Barker considers the social recovery of previous soldiers.

Gary Barker: What it requires to bring somebody back from that takes a substantial variety of years. As well as a few of the job that we did about and also have actually sustained around psychosocial assistance for that is simply just how much your entire worldview is mounted all over the world is bent on obtain you the residence that you believed you had previously. They’re currently all your adversaries. As well as yet guys that, when we provided an opportunity to speak about it. They wished for a domesticity, wished for a connexion. They wished for a neighborhood where they’re not been afraid. They have the ability to see exactly how dreadful it is to live your life, being been afraid at all times.

Danielle Olavario: It is warm and also bright outdoors and also Morris takes our press reporter Carielle to stroll with him around his area. On their means they fulfill his next-door neighbors. It is a really close area where he has actually discovered his location: he is very valued.

Carielle Doe: To make sure that rage does not climb?

Morris Matadi: No, I subdued it. I practice each day to reduce my rage.

Danielle Olavario: For the previous 14 years, considering that completion of the battle, Morris has actually been working with himself to conquer his injury. He does it by concentrating on the large photo and also he likewise does little everyday methods to stay clear of obtaining captured up in horrible recalls.

Morris Matadi: I leave and also allow it go. As well as allow it go. To remove the injury they need to approve adjustment and also adjustment originates from within

Danielle Olavario: It can be hard for a specific alone to locate a service to their injury.

Usually, it is needed to look for assistance.

In Liberia, previous soldiers have actually discovered alleviation in support system. Support system were likewise the option that the miners we experienced in episodes 9 and also 10 of our podcast executed to get away poisonous maleness. There, soldiers alike locate a refuge to share their feelings in the previous war time comradeship.

Danielle Olavario: Today these siblings in arms ask themselves if it’s feasible to proceed, if one can come to be an excellent guy, also after causing a lot physical violence.

Emmanuel Keloh: Since an excellent guy is not regarding that you were previously. What issues, comprehending exactly how to relocate with individuals for individuals that rest there in your footwear, comprehending the connections of individuals, comprehending culture, recognizing exactly how to connect and also recognizing exactly how to approve your incorrect. So I think a soldier can be an excellent guy.

Carielle Doe: Emmanuel Keloh functions to restore previous fighters. He initially started this job as component of the National Excombatants Peacebuilding Campaign in 2006. Currently he has unscripted team counselling sessions on his very own with ex-spouse fighters. These guys are what one might call success tales. They function. They have partnerships with family and friends, and also they have actually discovered abilities to identify and also hold triggers.

Emmanuel Keloh: So individuals are not ready to approve these individuals back. As well as I assume that the only means onward is most of us return with each other. These individuals are your youngsters, our family members, you ought to approve them back right into culture.

Danielle Olavario: Throughout these conferences, these ex-spouse fighters locate a risk-free room to share their experiences. They speak about battle and also exactly how to manage injury in times of tranquility. Concerning being declined by culture, 2nd possibilities and also parenthood.

Lots of share the exact same objective: being an excellent individual and also an excellent dad. They do not intend to pass their injury onto their youngsters.

Jonathan: Why am I doing this? I’m a suitable individual, I’m an excellent individual. After you begin having youngsters, you desire your youngsters to consider you as an excellent individual, as a papa.

Danielle Olavario: Gary Barker concurs with the point of view of this previous soldier.

Gary Barker: I do assume for guys specifically, where, you understand, we’re usually behind this exterior of of not sharing the influence of injury, where our sensations are or our connexion to others, that to come to be a papa and also to be entailed as a caretaker is, I assume, an effective objective for adjustment.

Danielle Olavario: Back in Morris’ residence, his partner Yankee and also their boy are cooking with each other.

Morris has 4 youngsters. 2 were birthed throughout the battle, and also 2 after. He identified he was 2 various guys throughout and also after the dispute, consequently he has actually likewise been 2 various sort of papas.

Morris Matadi: Joe, he enjoys physical violence. Since when he was birthed, when I had Joe, the nature of physical violence remained in me. So injury naturally can be moved to a youngster whose dad is traumatised.

Danielle Olavario: So is it feasible for these previous soldiers to be completely rehabilitated right into culture?

Gary Barker: Whether it’s Liberia, Sierra Leone, DRC, Rwanda, there’s generations of boys that were attracted right into that actually with really little option and also where we require to sort of change our evaluation or our thinking of them from there. The ones that triggered dreadful damage, they were likewise formed to be those damaging guys. As well as we have actually reached determine what sort of psychosocial assistance and also injury assistance and also resources assistance to bring them back right into our common mankind.

Danielle Olavario: There is still something in Morris of that child that embraced his AK 47 as if it were his entire family members. He can not leave it – it is his past. Yet he does not desire his past to specify that he is today. He desires everybody to see the initiatives he made to place whatever behind, to come to be an excellent dad, an excellent companion and also an excellent neighbor. His initiatives to recover his unseen battle injury. He wishes to quit being the strong soldier he made use of to be. He just desires to fit back right into culture and also be an excellent guy.

Morris Matadi: A great guy is a guy that offers himself in a tranquil way, an excellent guy is a guy that regulates his rage and also acts much more wisely when he is mad as an excellent guy. A great guy is the one that ought to take obligation for his individuals. A great guy is a guy that deals with his close friends. A great guy is a guy that endures to attend to his family members. A great guy is a guy that will certainly never ever abandon a household.


You are paying attention to Cry Like a Young boy. In our complying with episodes we will certainly have a discussion regarding the docudrama we have actually simply paid attention to. We will certainly be signed up with by Nobel Tranquility Reward victor Leymah Gbowee. Her job to unify Liberian ladies of various ethnic backgrounds and also religious beliefs with an usual objective, to finish the battle, was basic in bringing the dispute to an end.

If you’re brand-new to the collection, look into our tales on retrieved hubbies from Burundi, gay guys from Senegal, traumatised miners from Lesotho and also dropped heroes/migrants from Guinea … all African guys combating to resist the rigorous sex duties and also guidelines. You can see our internet site for even more initial material, video clips and also point of view items. I am Danielle Olavario and also it has actually been a satisfaction to accompany you on this trip.

In this episode, we made use of songs by Liberian musician Confidence Vonic. You can discover even more regarding her songs on her Youtube, Instagram, Twitter and facebook accounts.

With initial coverage and also editing and enhancing by Carielle Doe in Monrovia, Liberia. Marta Rodriguez Martinez, Naira Davlashyan, Lillo Montalto Monella & & Arwa Barkallah in Lyon, Mame Peya Diaw in Nairobi, Lory Martinez in Paris, France and also Clizia Sala in London, UK.

Manufacturing Style by Workshop Ochenta. Motif by Gabriel Dalmasso.

Unique many thanks to Peya Mame and also Natalia Oelsner for accumulating the songs for this episode. Our editorial director is Yasir Khan.

To learn more on Cry Like a Young Boy, a Euronews initial collection and also podcast most likely to euronews.com/programs/cry-like-boy to locate point of view items, video clips and also short articles on the subject. Follow us @euronews on Twitter and also @euronews. television on Instagram.

Our podcast is offered on Castbox, Spotify, Apple or any place you pay attention to podcasts. If you liked this episode, please provide us 5 star and also leave a remark. We enjoy reviewing those.

Show to us your very own tales of exactly how you altered and also tested your sight on what it suggests to be a guy. Usage #crylikeaboy. If you’re a French audio speaker, this podcast is likewise offered in French: Dans la Tête des Hommes.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://euroexaminer.com
Euro Examiner is one of the best online Newspapers in Europe, We provide our readers with recent news from all around the world from the most trusted sources.
- Advertisment -spot_img

Most Popular

- Advertisment -spot_img

recent posts