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Kimmie Weeks: Liberia's young hero

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Making a difference
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  • Liberia
  • West Africa

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(CNN) -- Great survivors were molded from Liberia's bloody war that ended just six years ago. Among the violence and tragedy, new leaders emerged, including youth activist Kimmie Weeks.

"Going through the war and having that experience of nearly dying, essentially made me a stronger person," he told CNN.

At the age of 9, civil war entered Weeks' life. He had to flee his family home during the fighting, turning his life upside down. Weeks published a report on the Liberian government's involvement in training child soldiers in 1998 and was then forced into exile in the U.S. The experience of finding other children his age engaged in the fighting, and being so close to death himself, was a profound one.

Since the war in Liberia he has dedicated his life to saving the country's children from war and its devastating long-term effects with Youth Action International.