Morris Matadi Fellow 2011....
Living in: Monrovia — Liberia
Venture: Initiative for the Development of Former Child Soldiers (IDEFOCS)
Restoration of peace & security in West Africa through Former child soldiers' rehabilitation & reintegration
Operating in: Sub-Saharan Africa
Impact Area: Agriculture, Children and Youth, Conflict Resolution,...
"Former child soldier turned entrepreneur!"
Describe yourself briefly.
I am Morris Y. Matadi a Liberian born unto the union of Mr. and Mrs. Wilmot Matadi on December 1,1981.Like any normal child,I wanted to enjoy the comfort of my parents and continue my education and dream of becoming an airforce pilot.But my whole world of a child soon begin to shatter when the civil war broke out in Liberia on December 24,1989.I was 11 years old and had not the slightest idea of what was happening then.My father who was a military officer with the regime was under constant threats and finally decided to take his family on June 3,1990 to his farm in Grand Bassa when he met his untimely fate by he hands of the rebels.After the death of my family that fateful day,I lose hope and my dream for a better future shattered.On the 27 of July i was captured by rebel forces after several days of wondering aimlessly without food.after it was discovered that i was a nobody i was conscripted into the rebel's army by first tooting weapons and supplies and then as a full time soldier.What i did and saw under the influence of elder solders and drugs is unspeakable;but finally decided it was enough and ran away to Ghana.In Ghana,i decided to found IDEFOCS to help FCS reintegrate.
Describe your Unreasonable Venture in 100 words or less.
The Initiative for the Development of Former Child Soldiers (IDEFOCS),is a grass-root civil society organization founded by former child soldiers dedicated to the prevention of the use of children in war;and to the re-recruitment of Former child soldiers(FCS) in conflicts around Africa.Through trauma counseling,agriculture programs,advocacy for scholarships(vocational/academic)for both boys and girls who had been used in war,we achieved our goals. By networking with other civil society organizations,and members of the National and International communities,we focuses on the restoration of peace and security in West Africa by rehabilitating & reintegrating FCS using the Survey,De-traumatization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration(SDRR)method designed by IDEFOCS along with our partners from the Pitsburg University,Ford Institute for Human Security research department to buttress the UN's designed DDRR program which left much loop holes in the reintegration process that could lead to the re-recruitment of FCS in post war Liberia and other post war countries.Under the SDRR we have designed the FCS Botanical Reintegration Village;an agriculture program to counsel,train and empower FCS.