Sometimes Heroes Come in Small Sizes

Clive Lobo

I’m going to take a step away from our usual PPC, SEO fodder and share with you, gentle reader, something that is close to my heart.

A few years ago I was given the opportunity to visit Northern Uganda, a part of the world I had never given a second thought to. I was working with Canadian Food for the Hungry International (check out the pic of the smiling man… I took that!) who was in the midst of providing relief and development to this region of Africa. Specifically, they were beginning a center to care for the young girls who were victimized by war and neglect.

For those who aren’t familiar with the story of Northern Uganda, permit me to share it with you. For over 20 years the Acholii tribe of this region has been brutally terrorized by a rebel group called The Lords Resistance Army (LRA). The LRA are led by Joseph Kony, a mystic spiritual leader who fuels the ranks of his brigades by kidnapping children at night while they sleep. His new recruits are forced to obey his commanders and made to kill their brothers, sisters, parents and tribesmen – all in the name of terror and an attempt to “overthrow the government.” In an attempt to bring security to the region, the government has forced the millions of Acholii to live in “refugee” camps within their own land – prisoners of sorts with very little hope. Many children have grown up without ever knowing their ancestral lands and farms.

This evening, I watched an uplifting film called War Dance which chronicles an elementary school from Northern Uganda as they prepare for the National Music Competition where schools from around Uganda compete in traditional dance, choral, instrumental and original composition performances.

I encourage you to watch this film before you read on… and I warn that below… there is a spoiler

What I loved about this film is the way the directors told the story of Northern Uganda while demonstrating the unrelenting hope that is deep within the hearts of all Acholi children. Of particular note was the story of Dominic who shares the horrors he faced in “the bush” under the command of the LRA and how he lost his older brother. His ability to play the xylophone was amazing and will warm even the hardest heart. I was so happy to see him with the individual award for best musician and the entire school win for Best Cultural Dance. The dance they performed in the main auditorium in front of the largest crowd these children have probably ever seen.

To see them hold their trophy with such pride – giving home to their entire tribe reminds me that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

Look for the video at your local rental shop or purchase it online and help support a great cause.

Clive Lobo

Spark’s resident boss man, Clive possesses the very nature of an entrepreneurial spirit.

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