Group initiatives:

Let Children Be Children

Regions of interest:

Central African Republic |  Chad |  Congo |  Sierra Leone |  Sudan |  Uganda


Currently some 300,000 children around the world are being denied their childhood. Often kidnapped from their homes and forced into armed conflicts as both combatants and sexual slaves, these are the child soldiers and their story is rarely told. While issues like HIV/AIDS and global poverty are given such a public arena, many of us students, are completely unaware of this other reality in which children our age are forced to kill. Our goal is to begin by telling their story.

History:CHILD(not)SOLDIER was created in December, 2006 by several students from New York University during their freshmen year, inspired by a professor, Elisabeth Lindenmayer, and her harrowing experiences in peacekeeping as former Assistant Secretary General under Kofi Annan. They have since received grant funding from Youth Venture and mtvU, and recognition and support from NYU, Invisible Children, Global Goods Partners, and the 2008 MIT Global Poverty Initiative.

A Personal Tribute to Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: Happy 92nd Birthday

I was not yet born when Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment. I did not hear his name during my early childhood growing up under the apartheid regime. I was not sure why he was imprisoned in that tiny cell on Robben Island. And I did not know then, that one day, he would unequivocally be my hero. While I have not had the honor of meeting Nelson Mandela, he has been a powerful and real part of my life journey over the past 20 years. I am profoundly humbled by his capacity to forgive and deeply motivated by his spirit and strength.


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I dream of a world where children everywhere will put their heads on their pillow at night and not worry about food, shelter or abuse. I hope President Obama finds his footing, plants his feet on the ground and earns his Nobel Peace prize. I dream of forgiveness and reconciliation between Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians. I hope the day comes when we recognize that cultures that repress women are almost uniformly impoverished and subject to disease, famine and war.