I'm humbled by the sheer volume of responses to my blog post
, partly because many of you were responding even before you'd seen the TV version of this story about the horrors inflicted on the children of Gulu in northern Uganda. I'm particularly touched by your humanity, in a world where inhumanity seems to be the order of the day.
Someone asked whether my heart bleeds every time I cover one human tragedy after another. The answer is yes. I lay awake many nights trying to find answers to seemingly intractable questions -- Why have we become so cruel to ourselves? What makes us revert to our basic "animal" instincts of killing our own without guilt or remorse? Why, in the 21st century, are so many of us living like our medieval ancestors?
The Joseph Kony's of this world are everywhere, like many of you pointed out -- in Kosovo, in Chile, in Cambodia, in Congo. I, like many of you, have my own ideas of what I'd want to see done to Kony and his ragtag group of rapists, murderers and pedophiles. But alas, it's not for us to decide their fate. That would make us like them -- animals that kill for the sake of killing.
Many of you asked the fundamental question -- what can be done to help these children? I say you're already doing it. By speaking out, by blogging, by letting friends and family know. These are always good first steps. Word of mouth is still an effective tool in the 21st century. The next step is to write to your congressman, your senator, your elected leaders. Tell them of this horror that exists in our time and make some noise. Lots of noise. That's the only way to keep stories like this on the "front burner." Otherwise, people quickly forget once the "kids" are off the evening news.
For those that want to contribute monetarily, there are a number of credible non-governmental organizations (NGOs) doing a yeoman's job out there. UNICEF
, World Vision
, others. Their websites are easily accessible. Make sure you indicate the monies are specifically for the "Night Commuters" of Gulu, otherwise the contributions could get lost in some huge, bureaucratic blackhole.
Finally, I'll continue to highlight "my" peoples' plight as long as you continue to show interest. I feel I was born to tell the African story, without fear or favor. Sometimes, it's painful, other times it's fearful, most times it's rewarding for me as a journalist and as an African, especially when I get responses like the ones from this last story. They make me realize I'm doing what I was meant to be doing.
Thanks to all of you for getting involved. Now let's go out there and make some noise.