It all started with a simple story, one person’s post* led me on a journey that may have altered my future. I felt it build up more and more as I continued to read and realize that this was big, life changing even. I became overwhelmed with an idea, a passion, a driving force that even though I didn’t know the question I was already standing atop my seat screaming, “YES!”
It’s been over a month, and this has got to be one of the most difficult posts I’ve ever written. How do I make them listen? I look down to see a simple tool, a whistle, hanging around my neck and I realize the answer. The beginning.
As bloggers we are proponents of the push for technology, as well as the inter connectivity it gives us. It wasn’t until Blood Diamond came out that the general public knew or cared about conflict diamonds, yet there is more to it than the fancy jewels some wear. What we don’t see is that the technology we use is used to fund wars like that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and thus we have conflict electronics. The minerals used to power our phones and computers are mined at a great cost. This is where the story of child soldiers come in, not an unfamiliar story but there is another, even darker, side to this story that many never hear about. The whistleblower.
Those too young to carry arms are given a whistle. “Young boys sent to the frontlines of war armed with only a whistle.” There they must risk their lives in hopes of outing the enemy, many sacrifice their lives for a cause they have no part of.
A traveler lost, finds his purpose where he never planned on looking. An embrace leads to a gift, which in turn leads to a mission, a strategy and now a movement. Now they sell whistles in order to raise awareness and fund the organization that works with and for the people, the victims, the survivors.
For $34 you too can support the movement and become a whistleblower for peace. I know I have, and maybe even a little more. I’ve found a purpose and I hope to latch onto it. I am working on my graduate thesis, where I hope to develop a peace curriculum for victims of ethno-national conflict and maybe, just maybe, further that to a dissertation. I know the cause and the movement need support, and until some state of normalcy and peace is reached nothing can or will progress. However, what then? Just as a soldier has difficulty readjusting to his or her life so will these children of war. Therefore, I want to spread the word so when I get to that point and develop my curriculum I can hopefully look to share that knowledge and implement it where it is needed most. But first peace must be reached, and in order for that to happen people must first learn, listen and share.
* Thank you Abbey of AChickWithBaggage.com
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