The thing that I remember the most about being in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with Derek, Lauren and Rémy were the rooftops. I don't know why we naturally migrated up there. When it was time to read I would read on the rooftop of the hotel. When we decided to do filming for our video blogs and visual productions, we would go up to the roof. At night we would take drinks up to the farthest point of the roof and look east towards Bujumbura, at the time under oppression from its own government. There's something about the perspective it allowed, I guess. South Kivu can be a stifling place. I've traveled to a lot of places but never anywhere like the Congo. It was overwhelming to the senses. Getting up high helped us put it all into perspective.
The four of us there that night talked about what life might look like in 20 years now that we started something in what we thought would be the hardest place in the world to do it. What would ForgottenSong look like in 20 years? The only thing I could think was sustained and effective.
If passionate people put their mind to a task for the better part of their adult lives what can come as a result? If former child soldiers put their minds to the task of ending child recruitment in a country, isn't it possible that they would succeed? 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.
One thing is for certain: there's perspective in the ForgottenSong team’s hearts, and there is perspective in the hearts of AJDC. As we push forward into the future of our this project we do so from the perspective of hope to hear the forgotten songs of East Congo and other war-torn countries around the world.
This blog is the final part of our series on learning, traveling, and empowerment. It's the journey of multiple individuals that led to Forgottensong developing a heart and a plan to create sustainable change in the Congo. If you missed the beginning of this series you can find links by scrolling below! - Derek
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