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January 23, 2017

Program seeks Canadian Armed Forces Veterans committed to ending the use of child soldiers

Halifax, NS — Today, the Wounded Warriors Canada Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers (VTECS) program opens its application call to bring together 15 Canadian Armed Forces veterans for a month long intensive residency in Halifax, NS during July 2017. Based at Dalhousie University, the program combines university level education with the Dallaire Initiative’s world-class training aimed at preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

“War has changed, therefore our tactics must too. By combining the necessity for skill sharing opportunities for Canadian Veterans with a widespread social and human rights issue like that of child soldiers, we are better poised to mobilize a global response to the issue of children being recruited and used as weapons of war,” states Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.

The aim of the VTECS program is to help Veterans reconstruct their military skills and experiences into community education and advocacy, championing the Dallaire Initiative’s vision of a world where children are no longer recruited or used as weapons of war. At the same time, by tapping into the experiences and expertise of successful applicants, the Dallaire Initiative is better able to cultivate approaches that are comprehensive, nimble and rooted in best practices while simultaneously being adaptive to localized context and circumstance on the issue of child soldiers. 

Scott Maxwell, Executive Director of Wounded Warriors Canada, commented, “At Wounded Warriors Canada we continue to work with Veterans who find it difficult to apply their training and expertise in civilian life. The VTECS program is a force multiplier – leveraging the skills of our highly trained Veterans while also providing transition support; access to an academic environment; credits and potential employment opportunities. This, all the while working to address a critical security issue of our time: the use and recruitment of children as weapons of war. We are proud to fund this outstanding program and look forward to its continued success."

Applications are now being accepted for the 2017 VTECS program. Interested Canadian Veterans can apply online between January 19, 2017 and February 12, 2017. The program is open to any Canadian Armed Forces Veteran with a good conduct release who can meet the program requirements. Program requirements and application are available online at childsoldiers.org/vtecs