It’s fundraising time, and not just for STAND. With the holidays getting closer and closer, many organizations are asking for money. Student groups are raising money for all kinds of issues – from toys for low-income children to international humanitarian aid.
At a time like this, STAND activists can’t help but ask: why civilian protection?
There are a lot of reasons, many of which you can find out on the STANDFast section of the STAND website. But, I can’t say it better than Jeff Machozi, a 30-year-old man who has found himself in the middle of a bloody war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in which both sides target civilians. Displaced from his home, Machozi has set up a tent made out of tree branches and bamboo. For now, he survives in a state of terrified suspense as Laurent Nkunda’s rebels continue to advance. Here’s what he said:
"We are hungry and thirsty, but we don’t want any aid. We want security. We want this war to stop."
You can read the entire International Herald Tribune piece here, but his words say it all. Machozi is living the "protection deficit," seeing that the call for humanitarian aid has been answered, but protection, his greatest need, is still missing.
And that’s why STAND advocates for civilian protection. The international community needs to answer the call for protection first, and we need to show them that we will take protection into our own hands until they do.