By: Arushi Atluri
During the week of April 8-12, MSJ’s Ethnic Race Relations Committee (ERRC) hosted Genocide Awareness Week.
Genocide Awareness Week is a week set aside to help inform people about current genocides that are occurring in the world today. Many believe that, after the Holocaust, there haven’t been any other serious mass-killings; in fact, there are more than 10 genocides occurring worldwide today for reasons such as religious persecution, oppressive governments, and the fight for natural resources. In order to educate people and spread awareness about these genocides, the committee created several posters stating facts and statistics about the genocide they chose to bring to light: the one currently taking place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Since 1996, the DRC has been involved in violence due to political and economic reasons; as many as 5.4 million people have been killed, and the conflict has been the world’s bloodiest since World War II. “Not a lot of people know about these genocides that are going on around the world, and it’s important for everyone to be informed about them. That’s the first step to reaching out and getting involved to help stop and prevent future ones,” says ERRC Co-President Alekya Rajanala.
In addition to creating informational posters, ERRC helped make posters to promote their Falling Whistles fundraiser. Falling Whistles is a non-profit organization campaigning for peace in the DRC. Currently in the DRC, child soldiers are sent out in the open to signal when enemy forces are approaching; these children are only given a signal whistle and are often the first ones to be seen and killed by enemy soldiers. By selling Falling Whistles wristbands, ERRC hopes to raise money to help take these child soldiers out of the army ranks and into a safe boarding school. “By spending just $1, you not only campaign for peace in the DRC, but also fundraise to help prevent children from joining the violence,” says ERRC Secretary Neha Verma, “Buying Falling Whistle bracelets will allow you to make a difference in a country facing genocide.”
For more information about buying a Falling Whistles bracelet to support the cause, email firstname.lastname@example.org.