Child-soldier shares his story with Algonquin upper classmen

Last week, a former child-soldier shared his experiences with juniors and seniors of Algonquin Regional High School. It was a continuation of this year’s “One Book, One School, One Community”.

This year’s book, Never Fall Down is a novelization of a child-soldier’s true experiences during the brutal regime of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the 1970′s.

While the book focuses on Arn Chorn-Pond, he was only one of countless children forced into “service”. Sayon Soeun was another.

At the age of 6 or 7, Soeun was kidnapped and trained to shoot.

Soeun shared his experiences with upper classmen last Friday. The Northborough Patch covered the event:

Soeun recalled that on the day he was kidnapped, “my friends and I were hanging in the rice patties, doing normal things,” such as “collecting frogs.”

Soeun said he and his friends saw “a truck full of children. They were singing. They were having fun.”

“I decided to jump on that truck,” Soeun said.

“Had I not, I would have been forced to.”

Soeun’s talk was among Algonquin’s One Book activities on Friday.

Freshmen and sophomores saw a documentary, and attended a global awareness fair in C Gym.

For the full story from the Northborough Patch, click here.

To read more about Algonquin’s One Book, click here.

(Photo of Sayon Soeun from website Lost Child: Sayon’s Journey)

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