A special night with UNA-NY
Last night I went to see an exclusive screening of ‘The Good Lie” hosted by UNA-NY (United Nations Association of NY). It was a very humbling experience. The movie is based on a real story of survival and hope. It depicts the journey of young children, victims of a barbaric civil war in Sudan, that walked thousands of miles on foot in search for safety. Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring almost 4000 “lost boys and girls” to America.
Academy Award Winner, Reese Whitherspoon, starts alongside wonderful Sudanese actors, many of whom were also “children of war”. After the screening there was a panel discussion with four special guests: Margaret Nagle, the film’s screenwriter, Oscar Nominated Director Philippe Falardeau, Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina, Andrew Reynolds, and actor Ger Duany, also a former child victim of the Sudanese war.
Republic of Sudan used to be the largest country on the continent of Africa. The republic suffered from violent ethnic strife and it was victim of brutal internal conflicts and two civil wars. On July 9, 2011 a new state was born – Republic of South Sudan. However, political conflicts, ethnic wars, greed have never ceased and thousands of victims are still streaming to refugee camps to escape the savage violence that is still very much prevalent. South Sudan is a country held hostage by the ambition and greed of its political leaders.
There has been a long running peace process that sadly has not made much difference. To this day, families are murdered, abused, children are kidnapped, drugged and forced into becoming “child soldiers“. It is really unthinkable and heartbreaking.
There are many NGOs that put a lot of pressure on the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on individuals responsible for crimes under international law and serious violations and abuses of human rights. I will do my best as a global citizen to bring more awareness to this human tragedy. The more people know and pressure their governments to act the faster this horrific humanitarian calamity can be stopped. This made me think of the Syrian refugees as well. There are almost 60 million people displaced in this world because of war conflicts. Life is so incredibly hard, sometimes unbearable, for so many people.
This is me with Ger Duany, actor in “The Good Lie”. I was so touched by his personal story. Here you can read Ger’s story. It is absolutely breathtaking and remarkable on so many levels. I loved him and I got so emotional just talking to him.
I wish I could build a school in South Sudan. Maybe I will one day.
This is a beautiful African proverb that I learned last night:
“If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together”.