Michael Jackson

Image by Ruthie Ackerman. Liberia, 2007.

Meet Michael Jackson. The police brought him to a juvenile transit center run by Samaritan's Purse after his mother burnt his fingers with a candle flame because he peed in his bed.

The transit center is a temporary home for girls who are ex-combatants or who are having trouble with the law. But it ends up being a drop off center for children like Michael Jackson who have nowhere else to go and no one else to turn to. The staff can't bring Michael back to his mother — truthfully, they don't even know where she is at this point. So he must stay at the center with the other children — some mentally challenged, others suffering from trauma after the war — and hope someone can offer him a chance at a better life. Is reintegration possible for children like Michael? How do we train young people to be parents after the trauma of war? And are the next generation of children suffering at the hands of a generation of parents who were not given the proper tools of parenting?