This year, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a conference on peace. I met a child soldier, Ishmael Beah, from Sierra Leone. Many of us have seen media coverage of this major problem, but this was the first time I had a chance to meet and talk to one of them, face to face. He told me that when he was a child he was forced to go to war, he was drugged and made to kill day after day. At the young age of 9, Kimmie Weeks, from Monrovia, came face to face with civil war, human suffering, and death. He vividly recalled eating roots and wild leaves when his family did not have access to food, drinking infested water when national water supply was shut off, and nearly being buried alive after epidemics had wrecked his emaciated body. These experiences would have broken the souls of most people. However, they encouraged Weeks to follow a path where he could make a difference and ensure a world where all children had access to food, medicine and shelter. It is a vision that he has pursued ever since. Now, why am I telling you these stories? Because these are the stories that shook Jayme. She could not hear them and not do something about them. Jayme felt that as humans we had the ability and power to do something about these, and that taking action to fight these injustices was the right and responsible thing to do. It is important to spread awareness of these issues so everyone understands how real they are. I feel so fortunate to be involved with Jayme’s Fund and to encourage others to get involved.

Dylan Mahaligam, LilMDGs