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Child Soldiers after War
by Robert Koenig and Brandon Kohrt (published in Anthropology News)
May 2009


"Asha"from Robert Koenig's "Returned: Child Soldiers of Nepal's Maoist Army".


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Fears for 10 thousand child soldiers in Nepal
Presented by Liam Cochrane (Radio Australia)
Posted on Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:54am AEST

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"Returned: Child Soldiers of Nepal's Maoist Army" Wins Artivist Award for Children's Advocacy at the 5th Annual Artivist Film Festival
By Shannon Strischek (Savvy Buzz)
October 1, 2008

Robert Koenig outside The Egyptian Theatre where "Returned: Child Soldiers of Nepal's Maoist Army" made its Hollywood premiere on Oct 4, 2008.


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Documentary on Child Soldiers of Nepal Thursday and Friday September 25 and 26
By Shannon Strischek (Savvy Buzz)
September 18, 2008

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Emory study of former child soldiers yields new data to guide mental health interventions
By EMORY UNIVERSITY (e! Science News)
August 13, 2008

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UN Extends Mission in Nepal & Exclusive Video with Prachanda Distributed
By Shannon Strischek (Savvy Buzz)
July 25th, 2008

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After War, Child Soldiers Fight a New Battle
By BRANDON KOHRT (EMORY | in the world)
May 09, 2008

Brandon Kohrt conducts mental health and psychosocial training for Nepali villagers.


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New Film Captures Children's Struggles
By MIHIR DES (emorywheel.com)
Dec. 07, 2007

Director Bob Koenig (center, wearing headset) and his crew interview a former child soldier.


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White Mills Man Brings Plight Of Nepalese Youngsters To Life
By TESSA LYNADY (The Wayne Independent)
Sep. 25, 2007

Local Emmy-nominated documentary producer Bob Koenig and his wife Elisabeth at this year’s NATAS Southeast Regional Emmy Awards. (Contributed photo)


HONESDALE- While most American teens spend their days worrying about prom dates and driver's licenses, many teens in Nepal are faced with a much different and much more terrifying reality. At any given moment, they could be abducted and forced into a deadly combat, one that they may not even understand or believe in. These children are the casualties of a government and a country gone wrong.

Their stories are ones that are not traditionally heard of in American media. Many people are unaware of their plight, and the terror that they are faced with every day. Robert Koenig and his colleagues at Adventure Production Pictures are hoping to change that with their documentary, Returned: Children Soldiers of Nepal's Maoist Army.

Mr. Koenig graduated from Wallenpaupack Area High School in 1993 and is a former resident of White Mills. He is the president of Adventure Production Pictures, whose mission, according to their website, is to "highlight subjects and stories that have not been told or do not have much of a voice on the global stage."

According to Mr. Koenig, the main focus of this documentary is to "meet with three or four of the kids who were recruited by the Maoist Insurgency and who have been released, to document their progress and to document the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that are helping them."

Mr. Koenig, along with fellow Adventure Production Pictures staff members Scott Ippolita, Director of Photography, and Brandon Kohrt, Director of Research, will be arriving in Kathmadu in October, where they will spend the months of October and November shooting the documentary. Post production will take place from December until March, with the documentary set to be completed by April 2008.

As stated on the documentary's website, "the goal is to see the contrast between a traditional Hindu society ruled by a corrupt monarch and an insurgent group that claims to represent the people and bring about change, no matter the cost."

The documentary will present all sides of the issue by giving coverage to the victims and their families, members of the community, and members of the Communist Party of Nepal (the Maoists).

For the victimized children, one could only imagine that the road to recovery will be long and arduous. These children not only face the physical consequences of combat injuries, but they also must overcome the misery of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The documentary's website relates a few stories of child warriors and their experiences as forced fighters. The Maoists do not discriminate against sexes, abducting both girls and boys. "Duma" was abducted when she was 14 and was permanently injured during a shoot-out. Another young girl, "Kanti" was forced to fight when she was 13. She was beaten, worked to the point of exhaustion, sleep deprived, and forced to perform, under threats of death, for the Maoist.

In many instances, these children are brainwashed by their captors, told that the Maoists were trying to liberate the oppressed, discriminated peoples of Nepal. Some children developed affectionate feelings towards their abductors. A boy named Suraj Damai saw the commander as a father figure, stating "I loved him."

The warring taking place in Nepal is the result of a constitutional monarchy that is on the verge of a collapse, and the successes of the Maoist Insurgency, or "People's War", that began in February of 1996. Human rights organizations have estimated that 30% of the Maoist militia is composed of children under the age of 18.

These children, and many others like them throughout the world who are forced into combat, are facing some dire circumstances. It could only be hoped that by bringing some much needed attention to their crisis, something will be able to be done. As Mr. Koenig explained "we are hoping to raise awareness of the issue of using kids in conflict all over the world. These are issues that we never hear about, so it's an important thing to shed a spotlight on."

For more information on the documentary Returned: Children Soldiers of Nepal's Maoist Army, visit
http://nepaldocumentary.com. For additional information on Mr. Koenig's production company and their various projects, visit http://adventureproductionpictures.com/company.aspx.



All in the mind: looking beyond just the physical scars of conflict
Guest column by BRANDON KOHRT (Nepali Times)
From Issue #355 (29 June 07 - 05 July 07)

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