Hollywood’s recently released Machine Gun Preacher is inspired by the true story of a man named Sam Childers. Over 15 years ago, Sam happened upon the issue of child soldiering in the Sudan and has done everything he could since to help protect Sudanese kids from military conscription. Often this has included carrying guns and killing members of the LRA (opposing rebel army) if needed.
Sam’s means of rescue has broached a relevant topic for us as an organization, because a question we often receive from the general public is if our rescue projects require us to kill. And while PAK47 is thrilled to see other individuals and organizations laboring for the cause of child soldier abolition, we don’t utilize Sam’s violent methods.
Where Sam has often been forced to use violence and force, we have chosen nonviolent negotiations & bartering as our means to the same end. Offering free education to the military bases in exchange for the kids they’ve conscripted and trained, we have seen, like Sam, hundreds of kids released from the military and educated in the safety of our homes.
Not only is The Machine Gun Preacher magnificently entertaining, it is waking people up to the pending emergency of child soldiering in the world today. As the movie gets the spotlight, so does the issue. It’s a time to give people affected by the need an avenue to help! Here’s 5 ways you can start now.
**Disclaimer: We have no official opinion of whether Sam’s strategy of rescue is right or wrong, but are happy to have him in the ranks of abolitionists.