I want to thank Dakota of Sweetheart of the Rodeo (once again) for sending this beautiful vintage 50s dress to me to wear. I’m a bit behind in posting holidays and such. A few days before Independence Day, when the United States of America (where I live) celebrates freedom of having a nation to call their own. My friend Loryn & her fiance’ Devon asked if we were going to fireworks held at a nearby school. We met up with them there while I mainly ran around chasing my rambunctious children (mainly the little one who didn’t want to sit still).
Reason why I’m doing this #6:
My heart aches at the many stories I’ve read about children in countries like Burma & Uganda (and many others), who during violent raids are kidnapped and forced to join their armies. A lot of the girls are forced to become young “wives” to mother children of the young boys or to just satisfy them sexually. If these kids don’t kill brutally (mainly looking to rid of adults) which is part of their initiation, they themselves (who are scared and threatened) will be killed. They are forced early on in their lives to be a part of violence and then likewise are made to force others into the same lifestyle they didn’t want to be put into. Some run away when they have a chance, but not all (because they get killed if caught, and not just shot, but sometimes butchered slowly). There are a few organizations who work with these victims who get out of this treacherous slavery, and some get reunited with family (but most find out their families were killed). There are so many wounds in these people and a lot of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder issues. I’m really happy to know there are a few organizations that work at helping end these wars and aid the victims (which is not easy work at all). Some of these organizations are World Vision, Invisible Children, and Project AK-47. Perhaps in the future I’ll talk more about what their individual work entails and focus on many of the countries that have child soldiers.
If you are from the U.S. I hope you can understand the great freedom you have where you don’t need to constantly fear for your life and your children. Are there fears? Of course, but each night these people most likely wonder if they’ll see the light of the next day at all.
“If we stay in Burma, the SPDC (The State Peace and Development Council) come to foce us to work; they burn our homes and villages and therefore we can’t stay there. If we return to Burma, the SPDC soldiers will kill us – or force the local people to do so.” -24 year old woman trying to survive in a village
“If you behaved well, you were treated better. When someone tried to escape, everyone was lined up and forced to beat the escapee to death. They taught us where to hit. I did this three times. We were given military training, in handling guns, and fitness training for three months. Then we were given guns and told to loot food from villages in Uganda. We attached people when they were going to fetch water and we killed them if they resisted. We inflicted on others the kind of initiation that had been inflicted on us, so we handed it on to others.” -a woman named Sunday, age 18
Both are quotes from the book This Immoral Trade: Slavery in the 21st Century by Baroness Caroline Cox & Dr. John Marks