Posts Tagged ‘war orphans’

Children in Crossfire

As you’re thinking about Mom for the upcoming Mother’s Day cards and flowers extravaganza (and overcrowded brunch venues)…it is worth a few moments to think about children the world over, especially those without parental influence.

Children in Crossfire is a charity based in the U.K., founded by Richard Moore, who, when he was ten years old in 1972, was blinded by a rubber bullet fired by a soldier point blank at his face. His life since has been one filled with compassion and passion for children and their rights to happiness no matter the circumstances swirling around them. A tireless advocate for kids of conflict, the Dalai Lama recently visited Moore in Northern Ireland, holding him up as a fantastic example of living life at peace with your world.

Most of the actual volunteer opportunities with Children in Crossfire are about fund-raising and spreading the word…so think about making a donation in honor of your mother, and mothers everywhere, for war kids and orphans of conflict, disease, and poverty.

AKAWELLE

This is Lovetta Conto. She’s 16 years old, and I just got something from her that I treasure.

Lovetta was born in Liberia but fled to Ghana with her father as a refugee from her home country’s civil war. She grew up in the refugee camp, attending school as best she could, required to spend hours a day fetching water. She says, “…going through the war gave me my strength, and I knew it was not the end of my life. I envisioned myself as a tree growing up, growing fruit and giving my fruit to other people who needed help. My imagination saw me as more than I was. I knew I had to create a future for myself.”

Bringing her tree imagery to life, Lovetta has created wearable art that I love. The Akawelle necklace (AKA=also known as, WEL’LE=love) has two parts: a small leaf pendant stamped with the word “LIFE” and a round pendant that is the bottom of a spent bullet casing. The leaf pendant is also made from the melted casings of bullets. The area of Liberia where Lovetta is from was riddled with bullets—there were places where so many fired and discarded casings littered the ground, you would have to shuffle to avoid stepping on them and slipping. They were like fallen leaves covering the earth. The war ended in 2003, and still, spent shell casings can be found all around.

The bullets are collected for Lovetta by a man in her former region who splits each one open by hand. She buys the bullets from him for her jewelry and he uses the money to keep his kids in school.

100% of the profits from Lovetta’s Akawelle necklaces goes to the Strongheart Fellowship and the Strongheart House, a home and healing shelter in Liberia for children orphaned by war and other circumstances.

I wear mine every day.