A couple weeks ago, I stopped in my local Starbucks to get coffee before I came to work & noticed a display of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier as I waited in line. I picked it up and looked it over & on an impulse bought it with my drink. My barista said that she just put the display up and thought too that the book looked interesting. She asked me to let her know how it was when I finished.
The book was very engaging. The author, Ishmael Beah, is the same age as my wife & now lives in New York City. He tells his story of growing up in Sierra Leone & the war that drove him from his village, separated him from his family & eventually sucked him into fighting. The story is one of hope, but is filled with the trials (putting it mildly) he goes through.
The book is quite hopeful, but makes me very upset that this kind of injustice is allowed to occur. Although the war has ended in Sierra Leone, much of the same thing is going on (and has been for a long while) in the Sudan.
Luckily, there are things that we can do as individuals. There are many NGO's which help in these situations. UNICEF was one of the organizations which eventually rescued and rehabilitated Mr. Beah & has many ways to get involved. SaveDarfur.org offers a number of ways to get involved in the current struggle in the Sudan. The Invisible Children is a movement that tells the story of child soldiers & is doing great work for this cause.