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In the early 1980’s, at only the age of seven, Emmanuel Jal was conscripted into Sudan’s civil war. He became one of the 10,000 child soldiers who were forced into the conflict on both sides since the beginning of the two decade long conflict. After witnessing immeasurable death, starvation, and destruction, Jal eventually escaped the war and connected with British aid worker Emma McCune, whom he credits with saving his life.

An incredible life journey has brought him to where he is now – an author, artist, and advocate working in partnership with World Vision for their World Vision Child Protection initiative. Working in unstable countries where governments can’t or won’t protect the rights of its people, World Vision works with children at immediate risk in places like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Central African Republic and the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Not only does the initiative create safe spaces for the kids to play and learn, World Vision distributes medicine and healthcare, provides services to prevent sexual abuse and support survivors, and work towards long-term solutions to eventually make the areas more secure and resilient. Donations go towards providing life-saving essentials such as nutritious food, clean water, sanitation, shelter, and basic household items.

Check out the video above to hear Emmanuel Jal speak more on this amazing initiative, and how World Vision is saving lives every day.