War has a devastating impact on children. According to a 2013 article from Psychology Today: Eighteen million children are being raised in the chaos of war and over 2 million children have been killed as a direct result of war. A 1996 article written by Graca Machel titled “The Impact of War on Children” laid out 10 things that became basic principles for the international community to help children affected by war. While this helped in many areas, there was a lack of support concerning the educational needs of war-torn children.
Founder of Justice Rising Cassandra Lee was stirred at an early age by stories of the Rwandan genocide. She knew that she wanted to help kids affected by war. Late in her teens, she traveled to East Africa and entered into the DRC. She met people caught in the trauma of war and little children displaced by the evils of war. This moved her to start investigating into how she could help these communities ravaged by war. Through this research, she realized that education was key to helping communities recover from the traumas of war.
It was out of this passion that Justice Rising was birthed. The organization looks to brings peace to these communities ravaged by war by giving a meaningful education to the children. These children have had to live through so much trauma already in their young lives, going to school helps them recover from this trauma and invest into an opportunity to change their future. Justice Rising ventures into these war-torn areas and relationships are formed, schools are built and programs are developed all with the mission of bringing peace to areas damaged by war. Currently, Justice Rising works mainly in the Eastern DRC, Kenya and is investing into Somalia.
Justice rising hires local teachers for the schools that are built and partners with community leaders. Every time a school is built they work with government agencies, chiefs, elders and locals to ensure the best success and safety for the school. During times of conflict, the school is often referred to as “safe zones” for people recovering from these conflicts. The schools represent peace and are looked at very favorably from local elders.
In 2017 Justice Rising has made a goal to build 4 new schools in war-affected communities. There are a few ways you can help them if you feel so inclined.
1: Donate $5 and help make a difference by providing education to children in war-affected eastern Congo.
2: Visit their store and purchase one of their pieces, most of which give 100% of the proceeds to a specific cause within Justice Rising.