Tenbury Wells students learn about life as a child soldier

Ludlow Advertiser: Pictured from left, Mia Corrie and Cameron Benson-Hunter, who are 13 years old, with Michelle Evington. Pictured from left, Mia Corrie and Cameron Benson-Hunter, who are 13 years old, with Michelle Evington.

PUPILS from a school near Tenbury Wells have been learning about life as a child soldier in Sierra Leone as part of a series of lectures.

Michelle Evington, a former human rights lawyer with the United Nations, visited Abberley Hall School in Great Witley to talk to pupils about her work.

Mrs Evington, of Stanford Bridge, described her role as part of the UN Secretariat in New York.

She said: "My UN postings included Haiti, post-genocide Rwanda, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Burundi and one of my most rewarding posts was with the UN office for children and armed conflict, which was the focus of my talk at Abberley Hall.

"I spoke about the changing nature of warfare, the recruitment of children as child soldiers, the devastating impact of landmines and cluster bombs and the impact of war on mental and physical health and on education."

The talk ended with a video by Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier from Sierra Leone, author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier which is a first-hand account of the plight of child soldiers worldwide.

Mia Corrie, who was one of the group of 12 and 13-year-old Abberley Hall pupils who attended the talk, said that it was a fascinating lecture.

"Mrs Evington made us all think about the dangers which children in other part of the world have to face - it was very interesting and really made us realise how lucky we are in this country," Mia said.

Abberley Hall holds a regular Tuesday Club lecture for its older pupils, with topics ranging from the life of Charles Darwin to working as a barrister.

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