It is January 15 and I just remembered I have a blog: Mainly because my daughter belongs to a school club that is trying to make a small difference in a vast, cruel world. They are volunteers on the 9th International Youth Media Summit, which brings together kids from war torn nations to learn how to use the media while they tell their stories on video.
The young participants in this event live in countries where child conscription is common. Many of them have first-hand experience of being kidnapped and forced to fight in brutal wars. This is a practice I don’t like to think about too hard, because the thought of this happening to my family is too terrible to think about. But I need to get over it. We ALL need to get over it. That is, if we want to see the end of this cruel, horrifying practice. With the help of this organization and the power of the Internet, these kids’ first hand accounts may force enough of the world to take a long, hard look and DO SOMETHING to end it.
Learning to make a video might seem a small thing to us media-savvy Americans with a zillion cable channels and broadband and smartphones. But the teens this organization is trying to reach are in nations where the average annual income can be as low as $800. That means that coming up with the estimated $3,000 it takes to bring one young person to this year’s summit in Los Angeles is a daunting task.
My daughter and her friends at Cleveland High School have created an IndieGoGo page to raise enough funds to several kids to LA for this event. They’ve set themselves a huge goal: $75,000. The idealism of youth, you know? But it takes that kind of idealism to tackle problems as difficult as this one. They may do it.
The site they’ve created is pretty darned impressive. I urge you to read it. And if you are so moved, I hope you will consider donating a little money, which in some small part may help mobilize the world to stop the enslavement of children.
As a high school teacher (and the sponsor of Mrs. Mills’ daughter’s club) the resilience, determination, creativity and optimism of young people never fails to touch me deeply. There’s so much we can learn from young people, and so much we can accomplish together to make this a better world. If you donate to this cause, you send a loud, clear message of support – and hope – to the young people of the world. Thanks, Donna!
This is truly a magnificent event which I helped with several years ago when it was held in LA. Seeing the young people come together from warring countries, to live and work together is amazing. They need financial help to bring kids from so many distant countries. Can everyone donate a small amount to make this a fantastic event again.