Christian Long

Emmanuel Jal: The Music of a War Child

In TED Talks on April 17, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Extra credit reflection by BRITTANY M.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Emmanuel Jal:  The Music of a War Child

Emmanuel Jal tells his touching and inspiring story of his life as a war child in the Sudan to help remind people that children are the backbone of each country.

So what happens when that backbone is made of trained killers?

There are children in Africa who are being taken from their homes in the night from their families who are often killed, raped, or captured to fight as well. Jal’s story is a heart wrenching one of being recruited and taken by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army to “fight for freedom”and his personal experiences of dealing with loss, bitterness, starvation,and being rescued by the loving arms of British aid worker,Emma Mcune. Jal is doing everything possible to help spread the news of what is going on in Africa in the lives of children. He wants to help spread the need of education for the war children as well as the poverty of the country. By doing so he hopes to help raise money to help the economic situations of many families and children as to assist them to receive and education and help stop starvation and emaciation.

By helping improve their home lives this should help improve the future of Africa.

Jal is obviously very passionate about his home country and helping them advance forward. He tells his stories through poetry and singing. His poem The War Child has become widespread throughout the world along with a popular hip hop song released in the UK which is fully dedicated to Emma Mcune. Jal is a fantastic public speaker and is completely comfortable in front of the crowds. He is quick to grab your attention with his poetry and very good at making you feel as though you were the war child who was tempted to eat their dead friend. He does not make you pity Africa but inspires you to help and care for the people.

This is an amazing video and an eye opener for those who are not aware of what is going on in Africa. It is important people know that the children are becoming trained fighter to hate and kill at extremely young ages. If this is the life style now, what does this mean for their future? We must help end this cycle of war and death and bring in education along with financial aid for families.

Jal is just one of many who are getting word out on activism in Africa.

Others such as Invisible Children ( )and other TED speakers like Ory Okolloh ( are using their skills and advantages to tell their stories and spread way of assisting African children and people publicly.


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