It only takes a few minutes of talking with Falling Whistles founder, Sean Carasso, to see why this local Venice based NPO has energized it’s local community to become whistleblowers. Filled with passion, filled with energy, Sean talks about how a short trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo in late 2007 for a TOM’S Shoe drop inspired him to create the campaign that is today, Falling Whistles.
The Falling Whistles campaign was born in response to a small journey entry Sean wrote the first night he was there. It was earlier that day where he witnessed children too small to carry a gun sent to the front lines to do war with only one thing in hand. A Whistle.
Falling Whistles gives a small window into our world’s largest war. Originally just a journal written about boys sent to the frontlines of war armed with only a whistle, readers forwarded it with the same kind of urgency in which it was written and demanded to know –
what can we do?
The Falling Whistles campaign launched with a simple response – make their weapon your voice and be a whistleblower for peace in Congo. Read the story and buy the whistle. Proceeds go to rehabilitate and advocate for war-affected children. Share their story and speak up for them.
Together, we’ll become the voice of a growing coalition for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Wait, there’s a war in Congo?
The Democratic Republic of Congo is home to the world’s largest and most deadly war. During the past 10 years, roughly 6 million people have died, and nearly 1,500 people continue to lose their lives daily. Sexual violence is more rampant here than anywhere else in the world, and thousands of children are involved in the war. Why?
There are a number of reasons, dating back over a century. However, most of the conflict is tied directly to the country’s vast natural resources. They are both a blessing and a curse, making Congo a country of great potential and a frequent victim of exploitation. The minerals found in Congo are used in consumer electronics, including laptops and cell phones. While many benefit from the mineral trade, it is the Congolese people who bear the consequences of a conflict that sustains profitable mining enterprise.
A combination of unstable governance, a history of bitterness between local groups, and international interest in Congo makes this situation one of the most complicated on the planet. It is this complexity that has left the current systems in place largely ineffective. A new approach is needed.
Alright, so what’s your plan?
The Falling Whistles story reveals two urgent needs:
1. Children escaping the war-region.
2. Children forced to the frontlines of war.
The escaped children are often traumatized and have few options for survival. The result is that they are regularly pulled back into the cycle of war. In Congo we are developing partnerships with community leaders who are rehabilitating these children through education, art, sports, music, human rights education, vocational skills training, medical treatment and nutritional services. Each organization is working to give children the tools to be whistleblowers and stand for peace within the war-region.
Because of security concerns, we cannot expose the names of these organizations at this time. We are working toward healthy and sustainable relationships and look forward to the day when we can show you the physical results of your partnership.
To help the children forced to the frontlines of war, the war must end. The first step toward that goal is to change the way we advocate in the West. Sold out of pockets, living rooms, garages, concerts, warehouses and retail stores, the whistle gives you the opportunity to spread the word about Congo and speak up for peace. Wear your protest and elevate the conversation.
To Learn More about Falling Whistles or Shop the Store – Please visit http://www.fallingwhistles.com
To Donate – Please visit: http://www.fallingwhistles.com/donate