There are some things I hold to be self-evident truths. Such as we are meant to be free. To have the opportunity to make our own decisions.
So I’m asking you to join me in coming to the RESCUE of some children who aren’t free.
For the past 23 years, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Government of Uganda (GoU) have been waging a war that has left nearly two million innocent civilians caught in the middle. The GoU’s attempt to protect its citizens from this rebel militia has largely failed, resulting in an entire generation of youth that has never known peace. In order to perpetuate the war, the LRA (led by Joseph Kony) has been abducting children and forcing them into soldiering.
Children are not meant to be soldiers.
Children are not meant to be weapons.
Children are meant to be children.
On April 25th, the international community will unite to deliver the innocent from Kony’s reign and ensure he is brought to justice. Thousands of participants will gather in 100 cities across the world to abduct themselves and raise the banner of the child soldiers taken by Joseph Kony.
Those abducted will leave their homes and walk to an event location while carrying their supplies on their backs. At the site, they will then wait to be “rescued” – this requires a certain amount of media coverage as well as the attendance of pre-determined cultural and political leaders. During the course of the night we will write letters, create art/photo projects and seek out media attention in an effort to petition the US, European, Canadian, Mexican and Australian government to develop a strategy and support existing efforts to rescue Kony’s child soldiers.
Come join us. Please.
They need you to come to their rescue.
Find out more on the Invisible Children website, including your nearest location. I’ll be at the Edinburgh event. Join us.
This week marks 15 years since the beginning of the Rwandan genocide. There was a candlelit vigil at the start of a week of national mourning to mark 15 years since the genocide which killed 800,000 people. You can read more on BBC News.
I visited Rwanda in August while I spent time in East Africa, and it impacted me strongly. You can read more about my experiences on that trip by going to my blog archives for Aug 2008.
Caught a screening of the new Invisible Children movie tonight, “The Rescue”. Being reminded that I left a big chunk of my heart in Uganda last summer. That whole region just tugs on me so hard. I’m gonna write more soon, but for now go to the IC website, check out what they’re up to, and get involved.
I’m putting together a screening of the movie in a few weeks, and I’ll be at the event on April 25. Mark the date and come join me.
Yesterday I had two vivid reminders of my time in the DRC. Our trip was an incredible chance to visit this beautiful country, to meet the inspiring people we work with and on behalf of, and also to get to know the other gappers. Yet coming back to the UK foisted us all back into the busyness of work, of meetings, of writing sessions, of deadlines. Today I had that rush interrupted again…
DR Congo rebels ‘oust Gen Nkunda’
This BBC news headline certainly grabbed my attention as I scanned my morning email yesterday. Officers in the CNDP (Congress for the Defence of the People, the main rebel group in eastern DRC) said they had removed their leader, Gen Laurent Nkunda, because of “bad governance”. Gen Nkunda denied this, and today the BBC are running an article stating that rebel commanders in the CNDP have pledged their loyalty to Gen Laurent Nkunda, following those claims. His spokesman said those rebel officials saying he had been ousted had committed “high treason”.
How Corrupt Is Your Country?
That was the other headline that made me pause a little longer than usual. Yesterdays Daily Stat email (from Harvard Business School) took a look at the Corruption Perceptions Index, which compares 180 countries according to the degree of public-sector corruption perceived by business leaders and analysts.
Last year (2008), the DRC came in joint 171st… pretty low down. The UK & Ireland tied for 16th place, and the US tied in 18th place.
As my attention is pulled towards the violence in Gaza, I’m trying not to forget those enduring conflict elsewhere. Though it won’t hit the TV news tonight, remember the Congolese people. Their suffering does not end when the camera crew rolls out.
God of peace, you forget no one.
Be gracious to the people of Congo and bless them.
May we who have been given so much,
strengthen our resolve to work and pray for reconciliation
in all parts of the world bloodied by war.
Give us the grace to watch with those who weep
and the endurance to stand with those who wait for a safe return home.
Work through us to hold all suffering people in the palm of your hand
and to heal your broken world.
So roads scarred by the suffering of your people,
are made into perfected paths to peace.
(Christian Aid/Kate Tuckett)
Another glimpse of the footage Jim & Steph shot while we were in the DRC…