What charity does the event benefit?
We are raising money to build The Emma Academy, a community school in Leer, Africa, which will include classrooms and a library, to be used by the whole community as a learning center and an income generating facility. The school project is spearheaded by GUA Africa, an activist organization founded by Emmanuel Jal, author of the harrowing memoir Warchild: A Child Soldier’s Story.
How much does a ticket cost? Tickets are $20 and they admit 2 people. A multi-course home-cooked meal for two for just $20? Yes! It’s true — and cheaper than McDonald’s! (Plus it comes with a hefty side of “Save the World.)
When and Where?
November 2, 2013, 5–8pm.
470 Candler Park Dr., NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
Click HERE for directions from your location.
The location is a church, but this is not a religious event. We don’t wanna save your soul, just the world — one comfort food at a time.
AND Emmanuel Jal will address the group in a live video conference! More about Emmanuel Jal:
Emmanuel Jal is a South Sudanese musician, a former child soldier, a world recognized hip-hop artist and a humanitarian advocating social justice and human rights.
Born from a Nuer family in the village of Tonj, Warrap State in Southern Sudan, Jal (Jal means “visitor” in the Dinka language and “walk” in the Nuer language) was a young child when the Second Sudanese Civil War broke out. His father joined the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and when he was about seven years old his mother was killed by soldiers loyal to the government. He then decided to join the thousands of children traveling to Ethiopia who had been told that they could be educated there.
However, many of the children, Jal included, were recruited by the SPLA and taken to military training camps in the bush in Etwas disguised as a school in front of international aid agencies and UN representatives, but behind closed doors the children were training to fight. “I didn’t have a life as a child. In five years as a fighting boy, what was in my heart was to kill as many Muslims as possible.” His harrowing story is recounted in his book Warchild: A Child Soldier’s Story.
Jal spent several years fighting with the SPLA in Ethiopia, until the child soldiers were forced back into Sudan and joined the SPLA’s efforts against the government in the town of Juba. “Many kids there were so bitter, they wanted to know what happened to them. And we all wanted revenge.”
When the fighting became unbearable, Jal and some other children ran away to Waat, . They were on the move for three months, with many dying on the way, until they reached the town of Waat, which was the headquarters of a small group that had separated themselves from the main SPLA.
In Waat, 11-year-old Jal met Emma McCune, a British aid worker who adopted him and smuggled him to Kenya. There Emmanuel attended school in Nairobi. Sadly, McCune died in a few months later. Although her friends did what they could to help Emmanuel to continue his studies, he still found himself living in the slums.
While studying in Kenya, Jal started singing to ease the pain of his life experience. He also became very active in the community, raising money for local street children and refugees. With his increasing involvement oin music, he formed several groups. His first single All We Need Is Jesus was a hit in Kenya and received airplay in the UK.
Through his music, Jal implores the unity of the citizens to overcome ethnic and religious division. After escaping to Kenya, he discovered hip hop and found that it provided the most effective vehicle to lobby for political change. Jal, whose own childhood was robbed from him, aims to protect the childhood of others through music. “Music is powerful. It is the only thing that can speak into your mind, your heart and your soul without your permission.”
Jal is also a spokesman for the Make Poverty History campaign, the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers and the Control Arms campaign. In 2008, Jal also got involved in the musical movement of spreading awareness about current slavery and human trafficking by performing various songs for the rockumentary, Call+Response.
A documentary about Emmanuel Jal called War Child was made in 2008 by C. Karim Chrobog. It made its international debut at the Berlin Film Festival and its North American debut at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the Cadillac Audience Award. The autobiography under the same name was released in 2009.
Despite his accomplishments in music, Jal’s biggest passion is for the charity Gua Africa, which he founded. It aims to build schools, provide scholarships for Sudanese war survivors in refugee camps, and sponsor education for children in the most deprived slum areas in Nairobi. The organization works with individuals, families, and communities that have been affected by war and poverty. Based in both Sudan and Kenya, Gua Africa focuses on providing children and young adults with an education that would otherwise be unavailable to the majority. In April 2008 Gua Africa was granted full UK charity status and also received an NGO registration in South Sudan. In April 2011 they received NGO status in Kenya. Emmanuel Jal’s most recent project is a Global Peace campaign called We Want Peace 2012. The project is a steady effort to inform the world that peace is a possibility, and that genocide can be prevented through the power of music and activism.