Eric Aloycius Deen
- My Educational Goal:
I would like to achieve a double masters degree in Human Rights Studies and International Security, Terrorism and Peace Keeping.
- My Career Goal:
My reasons for choosing this career are
- To help to the best of my ability to reduce human suffering throughout the world.
- To see that world peace prevails
- To help maintain the peace already achieved in SL
- To help give appropriate advice on security matters involving SL and the world at large
- To protect my rights as a citizen and the rights of other citizens against those who would abuse them
- To help reduce the cost of terrorism worldwide.
- Personal Experience of War:
My experience in the war was bitter. Before the war I was living in Tongo-field with my uncle Foday Malloh. In 1992 we were displaced by RUF Rebels. I had to move to Blama town where I continued my Secondary School education with my cousin Vandi Malloh. My uncle and the other family members moved to Levuma village. Although things were difficult I managed to continue my education with the help of my uncle and the school principal, Mr. Michael Samba.
The situation became worse when we were displaced for the second time from Blama by RUF rebels. I had to move to Bo town to continue my education with no support. Because of lack of sponsorship I had to leave school for two years and I went to the mining fields to mine diamonds at a village called Baoma Oil Mills. Within those two years I was able to make a substantial amount of money and I returned to Bo town to continue my schooling at St. Joseph's Secondary School. On holidays I used to go to help my uncle with diamond mining. And at the end of the holiday, if he had money he would help me with some. If he didn't have any I returned empty handed.
That continued for a while until July 1997 when we had a long vacation and as usual I went to assist my uncle. This time we were attacked by RUF rebels and all of us fled in different directions. I was with my cousin and we went a different route. We were chased by the rebels. We slept in the bush for three days and our bodies were bruised all over. Finally we managed to escape from the rebels.
I experienced that war brings with it acts of violence, human rights abuses, rape of children, young girls and old women, forced labor and the conscription of both adult and child soldiers.
Human beings were killed, limbs amputated, houses burnt, properties looted. There was a lack of national development. For example in Tongofield and Kono, many villages and houses were burnt and they have not been rehabilitated.
On the whole my education was seriously delayed by the rebel war. Since I had no time to study hard and pass all of my GCE "O" level exams I decided to further my studies at the Southern Agro-Industrial Development Associate Centre at Bo where I obtained a diploma in Agriculture. In 2006 I sat for the West Africa Schools Certificate Examination (WASCE) where I was able to complete my requirements in order to finally enroll in the university.
- My Experience in Peace:
Peace can be defined as the absence of violence, war and the presence of justice. My experience in peace is that to achieve peace is costly. You have to pay a price to achieve peace. Thomas Jefferson, President of the USA said, "The tree of liberty from time to time must be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants." That is to achieve peace there must be the shedding of blood of patriots and tyrants. Before we achieved peace in Sierra Leone many people, both patriots and tyrants, lost their lives.
Peace could prevail in a society where there is the presence of justice, few human rights abuses, less deprivation, equitable distribution of resources and the rule of law. If all of the above-mentioned are not realized this could lead to war.
I have experienced that post war era brings about economic development, rehabilitation and reconciliation. Individuals, groups and organizations fight to bring about positive peace such as absence of corruption, hunger and deprivation. Peace has been achieved in Sierra Leone but there is still hunger, human rights abuses, poverty and tribalism. If these are not corrected, it could lead to another civil war. It is high time the government started addressing these issues to prevent another war.
- Community Service Project
This included 10 hours of teaching about the major areas of Human Rights at the Lumley Police Divisional Headquarters. He was assigned to a class of 50 police officers. He had frank discussions on basic human rights, including use of torture, responsible treatment of prisoners, child rights, and even FGM. He learned that some of the officers had a good knowledge of human rights.
Excerpts from report...
"I was able to create a positive impact on the audience. It was like I had been in the system for a long time. The local Unit Commander congratulated me and encouraged me to consider his division whenever I have such opportunity and that anytime their doors are open to me. I hope my ten hours of community service made a good impact on the Sierra Leonean police most especially Lumley which will serve as a catalyst to disseminate the information to the rest of their colleagues."