Posts Tagged ‘Democratic Republic of Congo’

You Know How to Whistle, Don’t You? Falling Whistles

Falling Whistles is one of those organizations that takes your breath away with the grace of their mission. Named for the children it serves, this group is all about young children in the Congo who are sent to the front lines of warfare armed only with a whistle to blow as an alert, and expected to absorb the first rounds of bullets. These kids are considered chattel, completely disposable. Kidnapped from their lives, brainwashed and forced into battle, beaten, imprisoned, and discarded like trash. And they are ‘tweens or barely teens. The organizers of Falling Whistles accidentally fell into this issue, bumming around Africa after going on a shoe drop with TOMS Shoes, and had no intention of being grabbed and shaken into consciousness by such cruelty. Go to the site, read, I dare you not to cry. Then embed yourself into a part of the world, and issue, and aspect where you aren’t currently involved. We need you to be energetic and active in moving us all forward. By the way, buy a whistle.

Everything is Connected

I want to share this experience because it is HUGE for me.

I had the great pleasure and good fortune several weeks ago to teach a travel writing class in New York, and while small, the intimacy of the group allowed me to just flat out fall in love with my students.

One of these remarkable women, Laura Mayer, is a high school teacher for kids with learning disabilities, and she found a crack-the-crust way to bring the world into her classroom. She had connected to Women for Women International, an organization committed to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. In addition to her personal commitment, Laura felt there was an opportunity here to expand the horizons of her New York class via the life of her “sister” in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

I was proud of Laura’s writing in our class, and even more here, where she opens up her heart. Her letter to Women for Women International and a link to their posting of her work, is after the jump. Please read it. Laura and her kids will grab you. I promise. Continue reading