March 6, 2009

Give a damn!

Necklace and tee by Falling Whistles, a nonprofit started by Sean Carasso, after a trip to the war zone of the Democratic Republic of Congo. You can help raise awareness for this cause by wearing the whistle necklace or tee, and all proceeds go towards supporting the rehabilitation of war-affected children. At price of only $20 for the tee and $30 for the whistle everyone can afford to help.

Here is excerpt from the story:

This is the story of a single day.

A single, shape-shifting, life-changing, perspective-altering, never.be.the.same.kinda day.

I originally went to Africa to put shoes on kids' feet. My friend Blake had built a company grounded in giving and there I was, on the ground, giving.

After the shoe drop, I wandered. Sometimes with friends, sometimes alone, sometimes safe, sometimes not. I wanted into the wild. And wild it was.

I yelled at thieving, conniving monkeys and saw Nelson Mandela yell from stage. Cried in refugee camps and laughed during moonlight tribal dances. Saw a baby born and parents buried. Went south and climbed a cliff to scream from the point of the world and made my way north to see Invisible Children become visible in Uganda. Slept in mansions and huts, ate porridge and gazelle, swam with otters, fended off pickpockets and rarely showered, stopped, or stood still.

For two months, there was death and destruction, failure and fear, adventure.wonder. motion. But all around was a pervasive hope moving steadily toward what could only be described as progress. Stories of change everywhere to be found.

Until I walked into the chaos of Congo. The so-called Democratic Republic of Congo, home to one of history's deadliest wars. Strange circumstances led me to her doorstop, but there I stood ready to see what she might show my western eyes. The following is what they saw.

I hope to one day tell the story in full, but for now peek into this single chapter...

As I’m writing you, the sun is setting just over the central lake in Goma. My computer screen blurs. I cannot help the weeping that hinders my vision and falls on the keys even as I type these words.

Bob Dylan said something along the lines of

"People tell me it’s a sin, to hold so much pain and hurt within."

I suppose I’m wondering if they were right

We originally planned to spend the day tracking down the rebel leader Nkunda. We had arranged an armed escort to take us into his territory. However after speaking with a Congolese military journalist who had just returned from that area, we decided to postpone the trip.

He said the upcoming Peace Conference had infuriated Nkunda’s rebels and
they had gone mad with drugs.

He told us it didn’t matter who guarded us, the sight of our white skin would enrage them and they would fire. "Another day, but not this day" was his advice. We thought it prudent to take note.

Instead, we caught back up with the 5 boys that had just escaped two of the rebel armies.

1 comment:

  1. I invite you to see my new book on Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army titled, First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army, available at Amazon. Also see www.firstkillyourfamily.com and follow the issue at www.petereichstaedt.blogspot.com.


Thanks for the comment darling.

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