Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ideas for Social Change: "Project AK-47"

I came across a new initiative today, so I though I should share it with my readers. This is an Idea for Social Change. And this change involves the most important asset for the future of our society, i.e. children. 

There are over one hundred thousands of kids in countries like Burma, Mexico, Shri Lanka, and Philippines have joined armed forces and many more are on the verge of joining them. Project: AK-47 was created to rescue these children.

Project: AK-47 is a team of people who are always ready to invade the next hopeless situation for children in armed conflict. Their staff members on the ground are nationals who are committed to rescuing and restoring the lives of children who otherwise would only know lives of violence and exploitation. They also do a fair share of raising awareness and advocacy for these children. Visit their website: http://www.projectak47.com

Watch this video:

They are following a three step strategy:

1. Rescue
The first critical step in caring for children in armed conflict is fairly obvious: rescue. The AK-47 team diplomatically (without military force) negotiate the release of these children by building relationships with the armed groups that use them and by investing in what they believe is important for their communities. In most cases, these groups highly value education, which has opened doors for us to rescue more children and prevent many children from becoming involved in the conflict.

2. Rehabilitation
Once the ream rescue a child, the not-so-glamorous work of walking them through a process of healing begins. One of the most immediate needs is physical healing, as many children come to us in very bad health, but emotional healing is also a vital part of caring for those rescued. This involves a long-term commitment on our part. Team provides a stable, loving, family environment to the children and commit to mentoring them through their development as young adults.

3. Reintegration
On the question of relocating the children from their home countries to safer locations, the team says that, "We are often tempted to do so, but we realize that the only way these children are going to rise up as the next generation of leaders in their societies is for them to maintain their cultural identity." The team provides children with an outstanding K-12 education, as well as vocational training and university preparation in some cases, and walk with them until these children are healthy, independent adults.         

World needs more such kind of initiatives. Rather going through a convoluted loop of world bank funding and other corrupt means of doling out money, such direct methods of dealing with the root causes of social malaise with use of technological tools have huge potential for bringing due social change...

It is 1st of many posts under "Ideas for Social Change Series". Visit all of them here
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