Falling Whistles is all about giving those who are unheard a voice. It is a non-profit organization that rehabilitates young children in Congo who have been taken away from their homes and forced into armies. These boys, who are as young as 8, are sent to the front line of armies, receiving the fatal first round of bullets. They cannot even attempt to escape, as their own soldiers will shoot them in the back, calling it “encouragement.” Not only are they required to fight for reasons they cannot begin to fathom, these innocent children are starved, raped and tortured. They face suffering that not a single person deserves to experience. It is both horrific and barbaric.
Those in Congo defending these child soldiers – advocating for war-affected children – are truly inspiring. Those who are taking matters into their own hands within our own community, lending a hand in ameliorating the issue are equally heart-warming. Grade eleven students, Natasha Chang and I, are organizing a charity fashion show that will be held on May 6th, 2011 in hopes to not only raise money for this great cause but to also spread the word.
“It started off as a school requirement but turned into something so much more. We hope to make a powerful statement and if we can reach to just one person, it will be more than satisfying,” said Chang. Furthermore, it reinforces hope that fifth grade students at Western Academy of Beijing will choose Falling Whistles as their focus for the upcoming exhibition. It’s refreshing to see such young but diligent minds spreading the word and educating themselves and others around them about this problematic social issue.
Falling Whistles, in its most basic terms, wants to make the soldier’s weapon our voice. They encourage everyone to be a whistle-blower for peace. Together, it can be assured that the dream of peace in Congo will not be eluded and we can become a growing voice for those who are unheard, no matter how weak or poor, for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Jodie is beijingkids’ student correspondent and is our eyes and ears on the ground. A junior student at Western Academy of Beijing, Jodie is also a contributor to the student-run magazine Unit-E. Check back for more of her blogs about student life.