As you read this, there are students and former child soldiers that we support who are in danger of being conscripted into the military. To tell you the truth, some of them already have been, and their families are at risk too. Many of our children’s parents have been thrown into jail, tearing families apart because of discrimination against Christians and Buddhists.
Last year we ran a campaign to support many of these students to keep them out of the military and in school. We not only met our goal, we exceeded it! For those of you who were part of that: Thank you!
We wish that that had been the end of the story…that these students were allowed to finish their schooling and go on to pursue secondary education and beyond…that they would have had the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. However, a recent government crackdown has changed all that. Some of these students and many of our leaders have had to flee their schools and their homes, some have been conscripted into the military, and many more are in danger of being conscripted.
We are developing multiple plans to protect them. We are researching setting up a new home for students in a safer area. We will share more about that when the project is ready to move forward. In the meantime, however, there is still an urgency to care for their immediate needs. Parents with their spouse in jail are left struggling to meet their children’s most basic needs, such as food and water. For families who cannot meet their basic needs, often their children have little choice but to join the military, as this is one of the only ways they can earn money to make ends meet.
We want to prepare aid packages for these families and key staff members, particularly the ones with parents in jail whose livelihoods have been affected or those who are now refugees. We are initiating a relief fund to provide food and other basic necessities for these families (many are our team members) while they are in this situation.
This Giving Tuesday (November 27th) we are asking for your help in providing aid for these families. What is Giving Tuesday? Giving Tuesday is a celebration of giving where people around come together to support the causes that mean the most to them.
That is why we are launching several new giving opportunities on this day that we think will have global impact for children the PAK community cares about. To find out about our Giving Tuesday projects and how you can help us keep children out of combat, click here or go to https://www.classy.org/campaign/2018-holiday-campaign/c208374.