Why is my family fundraising for Exile International (they restore child soldiers) this during the LBD.Project 2019? Partially, because I want my kids to be compassionate global citizens.
I am convinced that although most parents teach their kids to be compassionate, the majority are often lost when it comes to showing their kids HOW to be compassionate–especially when our socio-economic circles are created to keep us separate from what feels different, and position us to value own happiness and security. To overcome this, it requires a lot of intentionality.
We chose Exile International as a featured organization for the LBD.Project because we wanted people to see a different side of human trafficking that they might not ever think about.
But I chose it for my family specifically because my kids are ready to have their eyes opened a little more.
The kids who are going through recovery at Exile International are just like my kids. In fact, they WOULD be my kids, except for the place my children happened to be born. I want my kids to see themselves in the kids we are fundraising for this #LBDProject2019 – I don’t want them to have a “white man, savior complex” in their compassion, but I do really want them to understand that our freedom isn’t to be squandered, but we are given freedom to listen, see, encourage, and be generous with. We are given freedom not to stay high, but to level the playing field.
Being a global citizen doesn’t mean we just have vague exposure to other cultures and their holidays in schools–although I realize this might be better than nothing.
But that can’t be it. It is a partial story. It is a lie.
My kids aren’t going to be compassionate, global citizens until they understand their context positionally in the context of the world. For example, you can’t reduce racism towards Blacks by doing Kwanza, even if Kwanza it is beautiful. You can only reduce racism by understanding the suffering and indignity this group has gone through, and then recognizing there is still judgement, injustice, and walls to hurtle because of skin color. If our kids don’t see their privilege in the top 5% of the richest people in the world, their privilege in education, their privileges in religion, gender, ethnicity, health, lack of trauma…if our children are unaware of their privileges in freedom–we will have failed in our job of creating global citizens.
We cannot look the other way when people suffer, and expect our children to become compassionate. Compassion isn’t built off of pity, but by giving others dignity as we join them in their suffering, being present in their grief, bringing joy in their healing, and in sharing love.
(Images showing graduates of their program belong to Exile International)
Raising money with the LBD.Project engages my own kids to be aware and compassionate towards people who are just like them, even though these kids are far away and have had some freedoms stolen from them. Together we are inviting you to bring dignity these children by empowering Exile International to be what we can’t be for these kids–to be family; to be present–for these kids who were forced into war, rape, sexual bondage, and other types of trauma resulting from being a child soldier.
Please join with us, by donating $10 to help us reach our goal of finding 100 people to help Exile International love these kids. Donate here.