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THIS CAMPAIGN IS MANAGED BY


A NEW LEAF QUARTERLY

JULY - SEPT

/ 13


Cover photo by Mick Yates


PRESENTED BY

A NEW

LEAF


GETTING TO THE HEADQUARTERS TERRITORIAL HEADQUARTERS 20 Bishan Street 22 Singapore 579768 MAILING ADDRESS Ang Mo Kio Central P O Box 640 Singapore 915605 GENERAL ENQUIRIES (65) 6555 0188 CASH DONATION (65) 6555 0246

BUS 88, 162, 52, 74, 410, 852 TRAIN Bishan MRT Station (18 mins walk)

(65) 6458 8958

Marymount MRT Station (19 mins walk)

Courtesy of Google Maps

FAX


CONTENTS

4

MESSAGE FROM MARCUS YOUNG

6

A NEW LEAF

10 14 18 22

STORY OF SANAN

CURRENT SITUATION – UN DEAL

ABOUT PROJECT: AK 47

GETTING TO THE HEADQUARTERS


MESSAGE FROM MARCUS YOUNG Dear readers, This year Project: AK 47 has succeeded in raising more awareness to the society about child soldiers. Many were shocked when they found out about the current situation that was going on and those who were informed, quickly tried their best to get involved. We were amazed by how the community suddenly worked together in order to put an end to the recruitments of children in the armed forces. Thanks to your efforts and commitment, we achieved in funding the last project, which was to built more homes for the rescued child soldiers in Burma. We were also touched by the letters, drawings and gifts some of you have made for those children. They truly enjoyed going through each and every one of it. You definitely put a smile on their faces. On a side note, we have came up with a new campaign called ‘A New Leaf’ but why ‘A New Leaf’ you asked... This campaign aims to buy a plot of land and built a classroom for the children. We also want to give the children a second chance reintegrate back into the society. Hence, helping them to turn into a new leaf. With more opportunities, they will be more determined to get back on the start anew. Finally, we hope you will continue striving to fight child soldiering. Let’s us work together to not let others suffer the same fate. Thank you, once again. All the best in 2013, Marcus Young Founder of Project: AK47


Photo by Peace Gospel


Photo by Chris Jones


WHAT IS

A NEW LEAF


PROJECT: AK47

Project: AK-47 is a team of

July – Sept / 13

We also do a fair share of

people who are always ready

raising awareness and advocacy

to invade the next hopeless

for these children, but we don't

situation for children in armed

stop there. We can't stop there.

conflict. Our staff members on

And we hope that you won't

the ground are nationals who

either.

are committed to rescuing and restoring the lives of the

Therefore, we exist to rescue

children who otherwise would

child soldiers in Southeast Asia

only know to live in violence,

and Latin America. Because an

war and exploitation.

AK-47 should never be in the

Photo by Stanley Foxx

hands of a child.


WHAT IS


A NEW LEAF

July – Sept / 13

A New Leaf is a campaign that

have received throughout the

was founded in 2013 under a

whole programme, they could

organisation called Project:

then help to reform and nurture

AK47. It is created to raise funds

society. Together with your

for the rescued child soldiers in

cooperation and awareness, we

Burma and give them a second

can guide these children to lead

chance to reintegrate back into

a positive path and change the

the society.

world one at a time.

We aim to build a farm and

Hence, our vision is to give the

school so that these children

children back their childhood

could get a proper education

that they deserve.

and develop important agriculture skills. With the

Photo by Chris Jones

knowledge and skills that they


Photo by Renato Avanzini


Photo by Chris Jones


July – Sept / 13

Photo by Project: AK47

STORY OF SANAN

Sanan grew up around the army

Sanan was in the army for three

because his father was a soldier

years of what he calls “agony.”

and his mother died when he

He recalled his first day, when

was six months old. After his

the “boss” soldier boy had him

father was made a prisoner of

gang raped by the other boy

war by the national army, Sanan

soldiers. They then sent him

went to live with his uncle’s

out to collect old bottles and

family. Tragically, though, his

cans to sell for recycle. He

relatives never quite accepted

continually had to pay his dues.

him as family. When Sanan was

He was their personal slave

nine years old, the army came

when done with his soldiering

to conscript his uncle’s children,

duties and they would often

but his uncle sold him instead.

torture him on a whim.


CURRENT SITUATION – UN DEAL

"The time has come for the mass release of all children from the armed forces..."

July – Sept / 13

Shalini Bahuguna, deputy representative for Unicef in Burma, said in a statement. Burma is known for the highest

The UN announced that Burma

number of child soldiers serving

has released 68 young recruits

in the armed forces around

from the armed forces in

the world. Both the military

February, this year. This has

and rebel groups used child

been the largest number since

soldiering. UN Resident Co-

they signed an agreement in

ordinator for Burma, Ashok

June. 42 children were freed

Nigam, commented that the

in September last year, 24 in

releases were another "positive

February and a further 42 in

step" toward achieving the

July.

government's commitment to end the use of child soldiers.

They were discharged during the ceremony, which was

Ending human rights abuses

attented by officials. This

is a key demand of the

release also meant that there

international community, which

are total 176 children and young

has encouraged reforms in

recruits have been set free from

Burma since the end of outright

the military.

military rule in 2011.

Correspondents mentioned that

The UN has also urged ethnic

the number of recruitments

rebels in Burma to end their

has declined however, it has

recruitment of children.

not stop yet. "The time has come for the mass release of all children from the armed forces,"


Photo by UN News


"It was then that the reality of my life often hit me and I would lie awake and cry with no blanket and little hope." Here was an average day,

But his father never came. We

according to Sanan:

rescued Sanan when he was eleven, and this is his reality

“As a soldier, I had 24-hour

now:

sentry watches and was forced to keep alert. It was extremely

“My house parents are good to

rare if I didn’t have early

me, like my own parents would

morning training and long runs

have been. I used to be scared

as well. The days were abusively

of many things, including dark

hot, and I often scoured

spirits in the hills and trees, but

the hillsides many miles for

now I’m not scared anymore. I

firewood, split the wood, and

now want to learn as much as

worked the farms. The nights

I can so one day I can help my

in the mountain winds were

people and guarantee a better

freezing. It was then that the

life for them…”

reality of my life often hit me and I would lie awake and cry

Sanan is one of the hundreds

with no blanket and little hope.

of child soldiers we’ve rescued

Many nights, the only thing that

and represents the hundreds of

kept me going was the thought

thousands that we have yet to

of my father getting free and

be rescued.

coming to rescue me.”


Photo by Natasha Mulder


A New Leaf (quarterly magazine)