Our Reading List

Our Reading List

It has been said before that knowledge without passion is boring, but passion without knowledge is dangerous. Therefore, we always strive to be as well informed as possible about the places, people, cultures, and conflict that we are working among. In this way, we are better able to listen to those who live daily in these places to make our work as effective and locally-focused as possible. Here are some of the books, articles, movies, and news reports that are informing us currently:

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters:

This book is a history of the conflict in the Eastern Congo. It provides an wide-reaching view of this processes, people, and problems that led to the current state of affairs, while protecting the dignity and histories of the victims, most of whom were/are civilians. A lengthy but must-read for those interested in not only the Eastern DRC but Rwanda and Burundi as well.

Blood Coltan

This short (less than an hour) documentary can be found online and illuminates the economic roots of the perpetuation of militia activity in the Congo and how outside companies, especially the recent past, turned a blind eye to the violence and chaos surrounding their engagement, especially through the purchase of natural resources. It is an eye-opening account of the consequences of civil war and introduces the viewer to rebel group leaders and followers, as well as the citizens that live with these realities.

'Why We Fight': Voices of Youth Combatants in Sierra Leone
Author(s): Krijn Peters and Paul Richards

A much more scholarly approach to understanding youth engaged in combat, this article helps to broaden the mind of the reader to understand that children engaged as child combatants are not without agency and should not be generalized as just “child soldiers.” Rather, there are reasons that they join fighting groups other than just being kidnapped or coerced, and there are ways that they choose to rebel against their captors if they have, or to abstain from violence while in the group if they so choose. For those interested in learning more about child combatants, this article focuses on Sierra Leone, but is a gateway to understanding so much more about this subject.

Turning up the volume on Social Media

Turning up the volume on Social Media

There is so much that we have learned the past 10 years with ForgottenSong's work around the world.  I (Charles) am also almost finished with a PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution.  As a result, we want to be more engaging with not only insight into our work, but in educating and equipping you our followers with different ways to understand and get inspired by peacebuilding in conflicted countries, and even here at home.  

To get started, here's the first video update to tell you more.

 

ForgottenSong Video Update

What Are Some Ways We're Engaging?

We want to share some of the sources of inspiration, empowerment, and insight that we've been impacted by with you.  Therefore, we'll not only be sharing more content of our own of past and current projects, but also sharing things like interviews with other peacebuilders, inspiring stories, insightful books and articles, and, of course, taking you along for the journey when we travel.

Start following us now on Facebook and Twitter if you don't already! (There are links at the bottom of this email.)

The Rooftops - Learning, travel, and empowerment

The Rooftops - Learning, travel, and empowerment

I wish we could've seen the future from that roof top but all we could see was the present.  It was one of the most satisfying moments of my entire life and yet one of the most sobering as I realized we had started something that could take a decade or more to complete.

A Journey to the Congo - Learning, Travel, and Empowerment.

A Journey to the Congo - Learning, Travel, and Empowerment.

There are few moments in life that are built up over time in your head through so much consideration, worry, excitement and fear all at the same time.  Entering The Democratic Republic of the Congo was one of these for me.

International Conference on Youth and Conflict

International Conference on Youth and Conflict

Forgottensong will be sponsoring the Youth and Conflict conference at George Mason University's School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Our goal is to bridge the knowledge gap between scholars and practitioners who focus on youth in conflict. We want to see you there!

Chuck's Top Ten Travel Tips!

Chuck's Top Ten Travel Tips!

Charles reminds me of that Johnny Cash song, "I've Been Everywhere." He's served in the military, studied abroad, and has a natural curiosity about him that has brought him to countries I've never even heard of. 

Lauren's 5 Tips for International Travel

Lauren's 5 Tips for International Travel

Hey guys, Lauren here!  I've put together a few tips that focus on travel to sub-Saharan Africa, specifically from my experience in Uganda, DRC, and Burundi. Every country is different and travel needs are often specific to climate and culture.  After traveling with ForgottenSong to Uganda 3 times, Burundi twice and once to the DRC, here are a few tidbits of advice. 

How I prepared to travel in a war-torn country

How I prepared to travel in a war-torn country

When Charles, Lauren, and I traveled into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it was often a topic of discussion and great surprise that this trip was my very first out of the United States. The Congolese got a real kick out of this, and Charles would always say, “Not France... not Spain... but the Congo!”

An E-mail from the Congo

An E-mail from the Congo

Together we are forming a team, one that is complicated but by the grace of God is working and working in big ways.  We pray for David's dreams to come true and we hope that along the way, we can communicate his dreams well. 

What I Learned From The Mountains In Burundi

What I Learned From The Mountains In Burundi

As I stood at the border, attempting to take photos of the mountains just a few miles away, and as the border guards waved at me angrily to stop (no photos allowed), I soaked in a sobering and profound reality. I stood at the edge of a twenty plus year war in the Congo.