After a long and frustrating encounter with cerebral falciparum malaria (courtesy of my amazing Ghana trip), I am now back on my feet and exhilarated to continue this amazing journey. I can’t tell you how grateful and changed I feel after this extensive experience. This year has been phenomenal. Terrifying, yes. Painfully enlightening, yes. Sleep-depriving/life-dominating/trial-by-fire? Most definitely yes.
Absolutely worth it? More than I ever imagined.
Everything is moving along rapidly, though the structure and purposes of the organization are incredibly complicated and require thorough decision-making at each step.
We are organizing a fundraiser for one month from now (my birthday!) in order to pay the required fees to file our 501(c)(3). The process (without any paid legal work) costs over $1000, so we have some serious funds to raise.
In lieu of the Haiti trip we’d hoped for December (malaria and complications prevented this from happening) we will host a supply-sorting/inventory day for any interested volunteers to come enjoy holiday movies, hot chocolate, and some healthy and delicious holiday snacks (yes, they really do exist!) in celebration of the end of term at Centenary, Christmas, good cheer, or whatever your happy motivation!
Without any further ado… Here is our current cause! If you would like to contribute, please eat at the Raising Cane’s on Kings Hwy in Shreveport this Friday from 4-8pm and mention “Move:DC” or donate and write in the description field “November 6 FB” to designate it as being in response to this post. If by some miracle we raise anything above our goal, the remaining funds will be used to fully establish Giving Back in Action 501(c)(3). Funds donated to Move:DC will be used to supplement whatever amount is still needed after the Raising Cane’s fundraiser is concluded. (Sorry for all the technicalities, but transparency is vitally important to us out of respect for our generous contributors!)
***Did you know…***
The LRA (“Lord’s Resistance Army” of the media sensation Joseph Kony) has abducted over 100,000 children and adolescents for criminal warfare resulting in another 100,000 deaths, internally displaced 2.3 million citizens of several African nations, and currently is responsible for creating nearly 30,000 refugees of those nations.
These are numbers over a long span of time, and sensationalized media has exaggerated some statistics of the current standing of the LRA. It’s a shame that this is the case, but the truth is, despite the decline in LRA power and presence, it is NOT irrelevant. Historically, the use of child soldiers and horrific criminal war practices is nowhere near new. Kony may very well be on his way out, but the LRA is very real, as are the followers of Kony who intend to take up his mantle to torment and overtake innocent citizens of African nations. There is a legacy of this practice that goes from one criminal tyrant dynasty to the next.
I think of the beautiful little children I met in Ghana and imagine if the two hundred miles disappeared between them and some of their African peers. They are no different than the young childrenphysically forced to murder their own families, drugged and brainwashed to commit unmentionable acts. We try not to think about it, but this very scenario happened to someone today. This will continue to happen until the LRA and other child soldier organizations are extinguished permanently from this planet.
November 17 marks the Global Summit on the LRA. A group of passionate Centenary students are committed to actively being a part of this conversation. Two of our organization founders happen to fall in that group (myself and the amazing Jordan Ring). We will drive to Washington D.C. to participate in the active plans for ending the LRA and use of child soldiers, permanently. We can all do something, and this experience is our organization’s opportunity to become more informed and connected in these efforts. Doing effective work requires collaboration and support of those who fight alongside you. We will be there. We will fight. We will rectify these atrocities against humanity. Thank you for being a part of this long-needed change in the world.