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Former Child Soldier Speaks to Students in Charlottesville

Have you heard the story of Emmanuel Jal?We shared his incredible testimony a few months ago with our blog readers. A man of many talents, Jal is a recording artist, actor, and activist. Most importantly though, as a former child soldier in South Sudan, he has dedicated his life to changing the world through peace.

To recap his story: Jal was born in the early 1980s, and became a child soldier for the Sudan People’s Liberation Army at the age of just 7. Five years later, he managed to escape and encountered a British aid worker who enrolled him in school. According to Jal, this aid worker, “smuggled me to Kenya and put me in school. This was the greatest gift I have ever received.” It is through education that Jal was able to change his life and become the inspiration he is today.

Last week Jal visited students in Charlottesville, VA to speak about spreading a message of peace, something he does everyday through his music and humanitarian efforts. Ever since he was able to start his life over through school, Jal has been striving to help others do the same and realize the value of education. He’s helped to get other child soldiers educational opportunities and has used his music to promote peace and reconciliation. 

Although Emmanuel Jal is from South Sudan, his story is similar to thousands of children in the Philippines, the Upper Mekong Region, and Mexico caught in situations of conflict today. 
Project AK-47, with your support, is creating stories like Jal’s every day, but as always, there is still much work to be done.

The full article about Emmanuel Jal’s visit can be read here.