Boys are amazed at the weight of an Ak-47 that children must use.
Sarah Takes a Stand against the use of children in wars.
Last week, my teammate Karen and I, sponsored Red-Hand Day. The Red Hand Day’s symbol is a red hand which has been used all over the world by many organizations in order to say NO to child recruitment and the use of child soldiers.
We held our event in a coffee house after school. Fifty parents and children wrote messages and added their hand prints. We displayed a military uniform and AK47 on a table close-by. What a conversation starter! As families finished, we gave them a prayer card to pray for children affected by war.
Please pray as we mail off the red hands this week to the UN Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Also please pray for children of war. Children were created to grow and learn in a safe environment, not to fight adult battles.
According to the UN Convention of Children Rights, recruiting and using children under 18 as soldiers has been illegal since February 12, 2002. Nine years later, many countries have yet to ratify the treaty. Others do not enforce it. On February 12, children and youth around the world will stand against the recruitment and use of child soldiers by being part of the Red Hand Campaign. Human Rights Watch offers a free, downloadable resource pack that has examples of what many groups have done to commemorate Red Hand Day. For more information about child soldiers, click here and scroll down to the section on Children of War.
How To Participate In Red Hand Day:
1. Use red paint to make a hand print on a sheet of paper, and add a personal message about your desire to end the use of child soldiers. Organize others at your school or in your community to do the same.
2. Deliver your red hands to your local government representatives and ask them to work on behalf of child soldiers or send your red hands to the United Nations missions in New York of the countries that have not yet ratified the optional protocol that sets age 18 as the minimum age for serving in armed conflicts. Include a message urging them to do so as soon as possible. For a sample message and list of addresses, click here.
3. Upload photos or videos of your event here.
4. Pray for children who are living through the horrors of war. (See Day 29)