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December 08, 2008

Forgiving Child Soldiers

Produced by
Anita Woodley

Forgiving Child Soldiers

Rebel leaders in eastern Congo are adding thousands of new fighters to their ranks. Many of them are children, taken forcibly from their families and trained to kill.

Janet Sumo spent a lot of time with child soldiers when she was younger, and she's been angry ever since. As a young teenager in Liberia's first civil war, she became so disillusioned from adults, she began spending her time with child soldiers. She saw them commit unspeakable acts of brutality.

It was only recently, after reading the memoir of a former child soldier, that Janet was able to forgive. Janet says her stories are horrifying to tell and to remember. As she tells Dick Gordon, she hopes to one day heal herself, by becoming a doctor.

The Blank Page

When Andrew Porter started as a writer, his success seemed charmed. He got into a prestigious writers workshop, got a story published in a national magazine and soon after found an agent. There was no reason to believe he wasn't on his way to the top. After completing his master's degree in fine arts, he moved to Houston to write a book. Late one night when he was nearly done, he came home to find his apartment burglarized. All of his writing - computer, backups, printed copies - gone. Andrew talks to Dick about how that incident affected him for years to come. He was never able to reconstruct the writing he'd lost, and he's never again found the confidence he once had as a writer.

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