Falling Whistles (FW) is a campaign for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo that was born out of one man’s, well, appetite for discovery, I guess you could say. Whilst travelling back in 2007, he made a discovery that not only changed his life, but continues to change the lives of many others, for the better.
I’m writing this post to share two stories. The first, about this amazing campaign and the tragic story that inspired it and the second, about how I came to learn about Falling Whistles – both of which remind me that in a world where at times so many things can seem so wrong, there are still great people out there setting some of those wrongs right.
The first is such an important story and, although it weighed heavy on my heart, in the end I am really glad to have learned about this campaign and I hope you will be too.
It all started with a single journal entry, in which Sean Carasso spoke of young boys, too small to hold a gun, being sent to the frontlines of war armed with only a whistle.
“Their sole duty was to make enough noise to scare the enemy and then to receive – with their bodies – the first round of bullets”
How? And why, do these atrocities go on and worse still, virtually unnoticed by the majority of the world, was my first reaction to this video. The evil that exists in mankind, and the ability to turn a blind eye to these tragedies is still something I just can’t fathom. This is merely an observation, not a judgement, as I am acutely aware that I have to count myself among those guilty of failing to give the plight of others the attention it deserves.
My next reaction was complete awe for Sean Carasso and the Falling Whistles team who have amazingly managed to transform a terrible discovery into a powerful force for good. I was, and still am, completely inspired by how they have brought positivity to such an awful and desperate situation and enlightened those of us who were oblivious to the magnitude of this war that continues to witness the deaths of nearly 1,500 people daily.
Their message is simple: wear your protest, make their weapon your voice and be a whistleblower for peace.
FW are currently working with Congolese community leaders to rehabilitate and restore the lives of 600 war-affected women and children in Congo.
They have also helped fund local initiatives working tirelessly to improve the lives of women and children who have fallen victim to this deadly war by providing education, therapy, job skills training, medical assistance and much more. You can read more about Falling Whistles’ partners, and their achievements here.
My second story
I came to learn about Falling Whistles when I, by chance, saw a post on my Facebook newsfeed from one friend to another saying “oh, and while I remember – re my whistle, the website is www.fallingwhistles.com” Intrigued, I clicked on the link and discovered all the things I’m sharing with you today.
I sent a message to the friend who had posted the link, telling her how interesting (and heartbreaking) I had found Sean’s story, and that, of course, I was definitely going to buy a whistle. She replied insisting that she buy it for me, and had one simple request – “if you’d still like to buy one to support the cause further, then maybe you could share the FW story with someone else and pass a whistle along to them?” And so the FW gift it forward concept was born! I loved it – a reminder of a good friend and a good cause.
And so this, along with the great work Sean and the FW team are doing, is the happy part of my post. I guess I just have a huge amount of admiration for people like Sean, and my friend (who has dedicated a lot of her time helping those less fortunate and is just an awesome person) and am happy to share the FW story and play a teeny weeny part in making the world a better place.
And you can too. Here’s how:
- Buy a whistle – for you, and for someone else – and ask them to gift it forward. FW are fast approaching 50,000 whistleblowers, help them get there sooner!
- Attend or organise a Falling Whistles event (in the US only at this stage)
The FW team recently finished a tour the US and would love you to join them at one of their future events. You can also invite survivor and FW representative, Yves, to come and share his story, and the FW story, at your school, town hall etc. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Make a donation
Like any charity organisation, FW need funds to enable them to continue their campaign to end this terrible war. FW will invest your donation in tools for whistleblowers, and in Congolese visionaries working to rehabilitate their communities. You can make a one off, weekly or monthly donation here.
And most importantly…
- SPREAD THE WORD - share this post or post the Falling Whistles website link on your social media networks, tell your friends about FW, talk, talk and talk some more! It can change lives and it doesn’t cost a thing.
In the spirit of ‘gifting it forward’ I am giving away a whistle to one lucky reader! If you would like to get your hands on one, leave a comment below saying that you would love a whistle and letting me know which of the posts on this site is your favourite. On 29th February 2012 (might as well take advantage of the leap year!) I will randomly select a winner.**Terms & Conditions: One entry per person. Entries close 28th February 2012 (GMT+3). Includes worldwide postage. Prize is one of ‘The Original’ whistle. Winner will be announced on 1st March 2012.