Posted by: Isaac Bruce | December 6, 2010

‘Lose 2 Win’ – Emmanuel Jal

“Music is powerful. It is the only thing that can speak into your mind, your heart and your soul without your permission”

After speaking with Emmanuel for the first time, I started re-framing my thoughts and ideas on what it means to ‘have a silver spoon in your mouth’. No one needed to assure me this man is a testimony of positive thinking. I first saw him on TED global (an international conference that shares great ideas of people around the world). He was present at this conference to share his experiences to thousands of people gathered on his experiences has a child soldier. I could easily relate to him because I think we have both not had the best of childhood experiences, yet I could say his experience is much more excruciating than mine. I was further inspired by his achievements as a ‘war child’. Therefore, I searched and got his contact. Since then I have been in constant communication with him.

Emmanuel was born in the village of Tonj in Southern Sudan, he was a little boy when the civil war broke out. His father joined the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and when he was about seven years old his mother was killed by soldiers loyal to the government. Emmanuel met Emma McCune, a British aid worker on his ‘escape voyage’. Emmanuel was only 11 years old then and McCune insisted he should not be a child soldier. She adopted him and both went to Kenya.

Since then, Emmanuel has been in the music industry and using music to heal his wounds and that of other displaced children from their homeland due to wars. Apart from singing he also became very active in the community, raising money for local street children and refugees. Through his music, there is now the unity of the citizens to overcome ethnic and religious division and motivate the youth in Sudan and other parts of war thorn countries.

Two months ago, Emmanuel Jal led by example by fasting for 662 days to raise the money necessary to build a school for children in Sudan and has finally reached the amount needed. The announcement of him breaking his fast was announced all over Facebook, twitter and YouTube. The name of the campaign is Lose to Win started by Emmanuel and some friends in New York (Albert Melisa and Roachie, his producer). I see this initiative as a great one and it also communicated to my soul. He also wants to do this every year. Next year, starting in April, Emmanuel Jal wishes to complete Emma academy

During one of the days I spoke to him and he told me is not easy to do this for more than a year and overall to meet such a goal. I am very happy to have known him and urge all my friends to check out his website for his other projects (www.emmanueljal.com)

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