Thursday, June 25, 2009

Victims of War: the real people.

In 1990, Ellen Lanyom, now 53, received a group of visitors at her home in rural Northern Uganda that she will never forget. A patrol of three rebels from The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), tortured her and removed her lips when she was unable to describe the whereabouts of her two brothers, one a community leader, and the other a soldier in the Ugandan military. Ten years later, the physical, emotional and social, scars remain. “Some people feel sympathy for me.” she said, “But others despise me. They think I look like a dog.”

Lanyom with her eldest son, who is now trying to finish high school and attend University.

It's a fact that people don’t want to see other's suffering. As a result, images containing the consequences of war frequently go ignored. In America, and now, in the rest of the world, the mainstream media is a business. It is a more and more common occurrence that the mainstream media does not publish stories that deal with human suffering simply because they don't contribute to the saleability of the news.

Yet, it is vital that these stories be told. To ignore these stories is to ignore a wound in our planet’s body. A wound left unattended can only lead to suffering for the rest of the being. Ellen Lanyom is not a nameless African woman postered before your eyes as a means to desensitize your compassion—she is a real woman living a real life. She cares for 5 real children—two of which are not her own but orphans of the war. She struggles to provide for them, but at the end of the day, she somehow manages to do it. No, her picture is shown to give you a reason to act out against injustice and the defilation of human rights—or maybe even directly improve her condition.

People like Ellen and her family need your help. A total amount as small as $1,000 could help feed and send her children to school for an entire year. When the American poverty line is drawn near an annual income of $24,000, it is hard to find a justification for someone struggling so much for the lack of such a small amount.

If there is anyone who feels led to help the Lanyom family financially, please email me at

1 comment:

Woodspritemama said...

Interesting that you mention aiding an entire family. A friend and I talked once on this subject and adoption as in supporting families to enable keeping the unit intact. Do you know of any orgs that are currently supporting families?

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