Jonathan Wu wrote -
Dear friends, family, friends of family, friends of friends, etc,
On July 24, 2011, I will be turning 21. Yes, the big two-one. Reflecting on my life thus far, I have been so blessed with abundant resources, stability, the opportunity to learn and explore my interests, friends, family, and so much more.
So, as a way to celebrate this year, my wish is to raise a minimum of $2,100 (US) for The Voice Project, a non-profit organization that helps women groups in Uganda who have been affected by the civil war between the African government and the rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Any amount will do and if you’re not in the best position to give, tell a friend!
The money will go towards:
- Livelihood Programs, in which money will be given to women in Africa to start farms and an opportunity to sustain themselves and their communities.
- Vociational training programs, which provide girls and women the opportunity to get job training and/or learn a skill or craft.
- Breakdance Project, a program which engage "young people in elements of hip hop culture to build leadership skills and promote social responsibility."
- The Legacy Scholarship Progam, which "provides scholarships and mentoring to 590 secondary and 181 university students form Gulu, Amuru, and Pader districts."
Here's some more info to what you will be donating to:
The Voice Project is a music driven initiative that seeks to spread the messages of peace and reconciliation expressed by woman groups in areas including Uganda, Sudan, Democratic Republic Congo, and the Central African Republic that are affected by the horrific violence perpetrated by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Since 1986, many communities in Africa have been ravaged and displaced by the civil war, between the African government and LRA rebels that has yet to fully cease.
One consequence of the civil war is the abduction of children by the LRA, who are then forced to become child soldiers. Many of these child soldiers remain in the LRA camps not because of their fear of LRA authorities, but because they are afraid and ashamed to return home after being forced to commit brutal acts of violence on their own people. For the soldiers who have escaped the LRA camps, many choose to hide in the bushes, rather than return to their communities for the same reasons.
In response, various woman groups in Africa, many that are made up of widows, rape survivors, and former abductees, have come together to support each other and sing songs, which are spread through word of mouth and the radio, that let child soldiers know that they are forgiven and should come home. Astonishingly, these songs have worked as a significant number of soldiers have returned home consequent to hearing the music, which inadvertently, weaken the rebel group. Thus, these songs are not only expressing messages of peace, but are substantially contributing to the emergence of it.
Through posting exclusive performances by musical artists such as Peter Gabriel, The Voice Project strives to amplify this peace movement engendered by the previously mentioned women groups. Moreover, this non-profit has initiated various fiscal, vocational, and academic programs that aim to support these women and the communities they have helped re-construct and help them independently thrive economically and socially.