And I Stop.

It’s 7am. I sit at my computer with a cup of tea and a box of tissues, listening to TED talks and Christmas music, catching up on emails from the other side of the world.

My heart is a mess, though not necessarily in a bad way. A mix between being completely inspired for the future, oddly pensive for the present and yet slightly devastated with the past. (raw moment, stay with me)

Most mornings lately, I wake up with a message in my inbox about beheadings, people being set on fire and “…hacked to death, worse than animals.”

No joke. It’s not a random newsfeed or the BBC, but emails from my family in Congo. They’re heartbroken and confused. “AGAIN!? We fear for our lives AGAIN.” I stop for a moment and let my heart feel, tears running down my cheeks. This isn’t a statistic, a movie, these are real people and this isn’t right.

It’d be easy for me to read it, reply a quick, sympathetic yet comforting email and go on with my day. But instead I stop. To give honor to the innocent. For those who unjustly lost their lives to a blade. For the millions living in war everyday, leaving their belongings to run for safety. I stop.


This morning before my early cup of tea I lay in bed with my husband (because I have one of those now!) reading the email and then writing and rewriting Instagram posts I was trying to concoct to attempt to communicate the war happening right now. How can I be their voice? Everything I typed sounded too cliché. I was terrified that people would read the phrase “children beheaded” wince and pass on as quickly as possible, not actually thinking who that child was or how their death affected their family.

But my mind raced: “How can I communicate that this child had dreams!? They had a mom who loved them and made them breakfast every morning. They had a few goats that THEY were in charge of herding and bringing to a small patch of grass. They had favorite pass times and were never late for school.”

Feeling flustered for a moment, I ended up settling for a more uplifting post. Something without the word “hacked”.

But it still sits with me. How can we share Micheal’s story, Emmanuel’s, Juliette’s? All students in our schools. All waking up not knowing if it will be their last morning to see the sun rise.

I refuse to sit with that and believe that I am powerless to do anything.

Justice Rising builds schools in conflict zones to reach children and shift the situation for the current generation and generations to come.

So between emails I watch this. An inspiring TED talk communicating again, the epic importance of education and how it’s a game changer in war zones.

"All refugee children tell us education is the most important thing in their lives. Why? Because it allows them to think of their future rather than the nightmare of their past. It allows them to think of hope rather than hatred"

“Hope rather than hatred”

To give education is to give love. To give peace.

To be a Peace Movement, so we don’t just watch history unfold, but we take a part in writing it.

SO, as my second week in my journey of weekly blogs…. I give you this; the talk that made me pace the floor and write this post.

I hope it stirs you the same way it did me.


Melissa Fleming: