Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Children of Uganda

“The children of Uganda are asking for survival, they are asking for peace.”
~ from the Invisible Children documentary

"They abducted all five of us boys at the same time. I was the fifth one. . . . We were told by the LRA not to think about home, about our mother or father. If we did, then they would kill us. Better to think now that I am a soldier fighting to liberate the country. We were all tied up and attached to one another in a row. After we were tied up, they started to beat us ; they beat us up with sticks.” ~from a twelve year old child in Uganda who was abducted

“If a person dreams alone, it remains nothing but a dream. But when a people dream together, that dream can become a reality." ~ African Proverb

Today's Poem is for the children of Uganda who have been, for many years, surviving every day life in a war torn world. Many of them were kidnapped from their families and forced to become tiny soldiers for "This Lord’s Resistance Army" led by Joseph Kony. For years war has raged in Uganda. The Resistance army against the government. The government promised it's people protection but found itself to be helpless when It came to the actual Protecting of it's people. War in itself is bad, but this conflict has been going on for 20 years with no resolve in sight. Thousands of children have been robbed of childhood and, in many cases, of life itself. Boys and girls are turned into ruthless killers who no longer feel, but are numb inside, and their souls have become seared by the awful things they have seen and have been forced to take part in. Children 10 years old are taught to kill, often beginning with their own families. Others are killed and a child is allowed to live and then the child is ordered to kill to stay alive. The children who do escape, will never be the same again.

Some kind of peace has existed in the North of Uganda for about two years now , but the scars of war still remain where so much anger and violence have been for over 20 years. Over 30,000 children were abducted from villages and schools. Kidnapped children were brainwashed to kill, rape, torture, often times their own families. Rage and fear ruled there for many years, where 2 1/2 million people are refugees in their own country, living in crowded camps, packed into pitiful housing, lack of farming space, lack of hospitals, doctors and so much more that we take for granted each day. We don't realize how lucky we are. Our children cry out for new clothes and fancy cars. Those children cry out for Life. Please remember these children in your thoughts, your dreams and your prayers. Their are many different organizations who collect money for the needs of the surviving youth . Give if you can! Be thankful! Have a wonderful day.

I Dare to Dream

Sometimes I dare to dream
of grasslands where
we ran free. Laughing.
Playing together before
the fall of darkness.
Singing with our brothers
the songs of children.
Happy songs. Life songs.

Sometimes I dare to dream
of my mama's face.
A smiling face. Trusting
me to tend the babies
or to go to the well
for water. Sending me
to do things for her.
Her dark eyes following.

Sometimes I dare to dream
Of sleeping in my family's hut.
Of sleeping at night instead of running
and hiding from those who would
snatch me from my family's care.
The ones who would demand I kill or be killed.
Who would torture even the smallest.
Our stolen childhood their greatest joy.

Sometimes I dare to dream
of an education. Worthwhile
things to teach to the young ones,
instead of the things
I have been forced to learn.
How to live and not kill.
How to love without hate.
How to touch without shame.

Sometimes I dare to dream
that I am still just a girl
that I have never killed another
that I have never bit my lip
to keep the screams inside
as I am taken again and again
passed from soldier to soldier
as a prize they are forced to receive.

Sometimes I dare to dream
But I always wake up
still here in my war torn land
where the lives of children
are gobbled up by the twisted
souls of evil men who cherish not
the laughter of the little ones.
Who would reach into our heads
and take away even our dreams.

Yes, Sometimes, I dare to dream!

written by:Patricia Sawyer


Big Time said...

We do all dream! I think it is human nature to dream and wish for better lives. That is what makes us strive to do better.

I never thought until this morning how other people in this world must dream too. I can see the children dreaming of a life with out war. Thanks for making me see! Love you. Reuben.

Pblacksaw said...

~ Big time~ I think we each get caught up in our own hopes and dreams. We have a lot to be thankful for even though we dream for more. I can't even imagine a world where children are stolen and forced to kill. We thought runnning from Jimmy was hard. I'm thanking God for Jimmy right now. At least when he did lasso us it was only for fun. I love oyu.
Have a great day!

christina said...

hey Patsy - thanks for caring about the children of Uganda. You will be happy to know, though, that the Invisible Children film you saw is outdated. Lots has changed since the film was made. Abductions and night commuting have stopped. I'm blogging about some of the work I've been doing in N. Uganda. Stop by for a visit!

Pblacksaw said...

Christine~ Wow.. Good Job. Thankfully the children can now sleep at night.. But I still feel that many of them will never recover from the things they have been forced to be a part of..
Thanks to you for all your hard work. I also still feel that there are many places in the world where children and many adults live each day in fear. Thanks for stopping by my blog and I have visited yours. Have a great day!

Sunshine said...

My daddy always says we must always dream. It makes us happier people. We must reach out for the things we think are impossible.
Some way, some how, some day...all our dreams just may come true!

Pblacksaw said...

sunshine~ I fully agree with your Dad.. Never quit dreaming..