Hey Project: AK-47 friends, this is Marcus. Right now, I'm traveling with Rob, an American who has lived in a number of Muslim conflict areas over the years. We will be taking a plane from Manila (Philippines) to Davao, Mindanao this Saturday to interview a few child soldiers as part of our effort to keep the nameless, faceless child soldiers of Southeast Asia on the map.
Last November, I taught sessions on children in armed conflict at a conference here for people involved in social work for children at risk. Through this conference, I met Governor Pax, who is a Muslim leader with a huge heart for these children. During our conversation, he stated that there are about 50,000 kids in armed conflict scenarios within Mindanao alone, which means that there are more child soldiers in his province than any other in the Philippines.
Governor Pax is also part of the clan that just was massacred in the recent Mindanao killings you may have seen in the headlines. I will be trying to reconnect with him, as well as work with some of the local "underground" to see what we as the Project: AK-47 community can do to be advocates for these children and eventually begin a rescue here.