Ex-Child Soldier Named UNICEF Advocate

Former child soldier and best-selling author Ishmael Beah has taken on a new role — showing children caught in conflict that there can be a better life after war and urging government leaders to help fund their return to society.

Beah, a 27-year-old survivor of Sierra Leone's civil war, was appointed UNICEF's first Advocate for Children Affected by War on Wednesday, saying he wants to show that his story of redemption need not be unique.

''For many observers, a child who has known nothing but war, a child for whom the Kalashnikov is the only way to make a living and for whom the bush is the most welcoming community, is a child lost forever for peace and development. I contest this view,'' Beah said. ''For the sake of these children it is essential to prove that another life is possible.'' (AP via Happy News)